I’m going to start this one with a disclaimer. I love to cook. I will take the longest, most complicated recipe I can find and just fully enjoy myself. But, to me this is the hardest thing I have made. I just cannot get myself to deep fry correctly, hah. Okay, I’m done. Let’s get started.
A quick background story: Summer of 2017, my husband and I took a trip to Toronto. I’ve been there a number of times because I have family there, but it was his first trip. So, we decided we would try to be cool and explore the hipster parts of downtown. We started our adventure in Kensington Market. After walking around for a while we came across a cute little bookshop. In that bookshop we came across a Spanish recipe book (picture below). It was pretty pricey, so my husband ended up ordering it online. But, it was totally worth it. This book is filled with a ton of recipes and explanations about why certain ingredients are used in certain areas, etc…
Anyways, I’ve made croquettes in the past NOT using that book. Last weekend I gave it a shot using it, but with a few modifications that worked for me.
Here we go….
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + extra for frying (probably a few cups)
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 5 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 3 cups low fat milk
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups of panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 large potato
- Pinches of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
In a pot, add the potato and enough water to fully submerge it. Bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 min, then let it simmer on medium low heat for 20 minutes.
In separate sauce pan, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the 3 tablespoons of butter. Keep on low-medium heat. Stir until butter has fully melted and started to bubble just a little. Whisk in the 4 tablespoons of flour. But, really mix it in there. Don’t leave any chunks. Mix in the 3 cups of milk slowly until it mixture is thick and still.. no chunkiness please. Stir in the the cup of cheese and cup of spinach. Keep going until the cheese has melted and the spinach has started to wilt. Add the pinches of seasoning. Really if you need more than a pinch of salt, go for it. I am a fan of savory foods so I added a bit more salt.
Once the potato is done, remove the peel and mash it down to a smooth consistency. I usually use my hands for this because I don’t have the patience to use a potato masher. Mix the mashed potato with the other ingredients and let is cool in the fridge for 2 hours.
After the mixture has cooled, beat the three eggs in a bowl and lay out the breadcrumbs in a shallow plate. Heat the extra cups of olive oil until it reaches about 365 degrees. Take a heaping tablespoon of the mixture, roll it in your hand like a meatball, roll it in the breadcrumbs, then roll it in the eggs, then one more time in the breadcrumbs. Carefully place it in the oil and fry. Okay, this is where it starts to fall apart for me. I just kept going until it was a nice deep golden brown, and most of the time it was fine. A couple of them, maybe because they were too big, started to fall apart just a bit, but ultimately survived. I may do a flat tablespoons, instead of a heaping next time.
Overall, they came out super tasty! I’ll be trying it with some other fillings as well. So, instead of using the potato-spinach-cheese combo I may use chopped, fried shrimp and cheese. The book also lists several options!
Let me know if you have tried to make these!
Photo Credit: Sadly, myself….