Croquetas (croquettes) abound in the tapas bars of Granada and we get the best ones in Chikito, a local favourite restaurant and bar, around since the 70's. For a bit of a healthier twist, we've made these with sweet potatoes instead of regular, added the usual cooked jamón and fried them up nicely (sorry, maybe not so healthy after all). As usual, we paired this with a refreshing salad and some lovely Spanish red wine.
What we're aiming for:
A sharing plate of croquetas - feeds two with leftovers to spare An accompanying tomato and avocado salad
2 x large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
100g of Serrano ham, diced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and ready to be minced into the pan
1/2 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of olive oil (for cooking)
A bunch of fresh parsely, chopped
1 tsp of crushed cumin seeds (we use a pestle and mortar)
2 x eggs
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
*We like to make bread crumbs by toasting chunks of any leftover baguette or bread in the oven. Once slightly browned and crispy, pop into the food processor with a bit of sea salt and a few cranks of cracked black pepper. Blend well = breadcrumbs. If you want to throw in any additional spices (we like dried thyme), do so while blending = tastier breadcrumbs.
The Algorithm: - Boil the sweet potatoes for around 10-12 minutes, then mash them as well as you can - this needs to be smoooooth. - Add a half cup of the extra virgin olive oil, cumin seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the mashed sweet potato, and mix well. - Fry your chopped ham and garlic in a frying pan over a medium heat with a little olive oil. Around 4-5 minutes should do it. - Add the ham, garlic and parsley to the sweet potato mash.
- Now beat both eggs in a small bowl - this will be your binding agent. - Spread the breadcrumbs out over a plate and prepare to make your croquettas. - Take a handful of the sweet potato mash mixture and roll into a sausage (it helps to keep your hands wet as you go to prevent sticking). - Dip into the egg mixture then roll into the breadcrumbs. Cover as thoroughly as possible then place on a separate tray/plate. - Repeat until the sweet potato mash mixture is finished! - Place the tray of croquettas into the fridge for around half an hour to let them set.
- Once you're ready to cook, pour the remaining half cup of olive oil into a frying pan and allow to heat up on a medium heat. When hot, add the croquettas. - Cook for about 6 minutes in total, turning the entire time to keep all sides nicely browned, then remove and serve with the lovely salad below!
A big handful of rocket (arugula)
Fresh salad tomatoes
A ripe avocado
1/2 a red onion
Fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
The Algorithm: - Lay down the rocket in a thin layer on a large plate or platter - Chop up the tomatoes in thick slices or quarters and line the plate with them, keeping the rocket in the middle - Chop the avocado into slices or chunks and spread on top of the tomatoes - Chop the onion into slices or circles and throw them on top of the rest - Sprinkle some olives around the plate - Put whole leaves of basil or tear them up and spread them over the other ingredients - Now pour some of that lovely olive oil on top, crush a bit of sea salt and crack black pepper all over and you're ready to go!
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