Spinach croquetas (vegetarian and lactose free)

Felicity Cloake is probably my favourite food columnist, and one of the food writers I’m currently enjoying most overall. Gastro-bookworm synthesist probably isn’t a broad demographic, but I’m in it and she hits it square on. Her ham croquetas recipe is no exception, and making it a couple of times taught me a worrying lesson: croquetas are easy enough to make that you can have them as snack/comfort food.

Spinach croquetas frying

After all, a white sauce just doesn’t take that long, and you can cool it pretty fast by sticking the pan in a cold water bath. So yeah, you can bring croquetas in well under a hour and most of that will be waiting. This is bad – now I basically want them all the time.

It’s doubly bad if you’re, say, spending a month vegetarian out of perverse curiosity and cooking dinner for your lactose-intolerant boyfriend. Given croquetas are mostly milk and the body of the flavour is ham, that probably doesn’t fly. But I gave it a go anyway.

Continue reading Spinach croquetas (vegetarian and lactose free)

Ham croquetas and sauerkraut croquettes

Cooking two fiddly and elaborate fried starches just because you can’t make up you mind which you want is more or less canonically indulgent. Nonetheless, that’s what I did on Thursday. I’d not made croquetas before, and something about the idea of frying dollops of sauce just didn’t seem quite right. Into that uncertainty crept all sorts of thoughts about adding potato which didn’t seem quite right either.

So it was a bet-hedging exercise. There’d be croquettes if the croquetas didn’t work out, and no need to run either by trying to combine both.

Pancetta croquetas
Pancetta croquetas

To spoil the ending, it mostly worked. The croquetas suffered from not being deep-fried, an  instruction I was foolish to ignore. The croquettes were just a little too doughy, and this again was a simple, fixable, process error.

Continue reading Ham croquetas and sauerkraut croquettes