While I was living in the south of Spain, I got to learn how to make many Spanish/Andalusian dishes, but above all the “Spanish Croquetas” were, and still are, my favorite.
So many different fillings to use and so many ways of using up leftovers or revitalizing foods that would eventually end up forgotten in the back of the fridge.
Normally, I use cooked ham or chop up a couple of slices of Serrano ham when I know I’m going to be having Spanish tapas night at home.
This time however I had some Aroma mushrooms leftover from a couple of days before. In an effort to minimize waste and use up the mushrooms that would otherwise go bad in the nack of my fridge, I put them to good use!.
And so, I used them as filling instead, the result ended up being an OH MY GOD experience! These croquettes were the best croquetas I have ever made, EVER!
So, even if the process can seem a bit of a hassle, you can always make a double batch and freeze for up to 1 month and bam, instant (ish) freshly made croquettes.
To fry frozen croquettes: thaw the croquettes in the fridge overnight or several hours prior to frying. It is important that the croquettes are still chilled but not frozen.
If frozen, the croquettes will likely be cold inside and perfectly crispy on the outside; if they are room temperature and not properly chilled, they will likely crack too fast and the filling will end up coming out of the croquette.
Frying croquettes like much of the Andalusian cuisine is more of an art than a science.
Creamy Aroma Mushroom Croquettes
- 200 gr Aroma mushroom finely chopped, or other flavourful mushroom of choice
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 300 ml milk skimmed, 2%, full fat or a dairy-free alternative like oat drink or soy milk
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp muscat powder
- 1 large egg
- 1½ cups panko for breading the croquettes
- ½ litre sunflower oil or as much as you need for deep frying
- Olive oil
In a medium-sized pan, sautee the onion at medium heat with a splash of olive oil or butter.
Once the onion becomes translucent, add the finely chopped mushrooms and cook until the water from the mushrooms evaporates. About 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, it is better that this mixture is a bit (just a bit) too salty and the flavors will become milder once the milk is added.
Add 1 ½ tablespoon of flour and mix thoroughly stirring continuously for a couple of minutes at medium-low heat.
While you continue to stir add the milk a drizzle at a time mixing well add the muscat and then continue striring until you have somewhat of a dough that comes off the bottom of the pan easily as you stir it. You may not need all of the milk to reach this consistency.
Cooldown your filling
Scoop out the dough-like mixture and spread it thinly over a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Then chill for at least 2-4 hours or up to a day in advance. Alternatively, you can accelerate the process by putting the plate with the filling in the freezer for 30-40 minutes.
Shape the croquettes
Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough in a consistent quantity and shape it into small cylinders. If the dough is too sticky you can cover your hands with flour prior to shaping the dough or put it in the freezer for 5 minutes more.
Continue this process until you run out of filling and ensure all the croquettes are evenly shaped.
Bread the croquettes
In a bowl whisk the egg with a drizzle of milk. In a separate bowl put some flour and in a third larger bowl place the panko breadcrumbs.
Take one croquette at a time then thoroughly coat it in flower, dip it in the egg and lastly coat evenly with breadcrumbs.
Continue this process until you have all the croquettes breaded. Freeze what you need and put the rest in the fridge for 10 mins or so, just enough to chill them.
Fry the croquettes
In a wide pot, cover about ⅓ to ½with frying oil. I normally drop a crumb in the oil to check for temperature if the crumb gets little bubbles around it and starts floating then the oil is good to go. But if you have a fancy frying oil thermometer, you should wait until the oil reaches about 180°C – 200°C.
Fry the croquettes a couple at a time, depending on how big your frying pan is giving them space so that they don't cool down the oil too quickly.
Once they are golden take them out and put them on absorbent kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
If your croquettes start to crack get them out immediately and lower the temperature of the oil. Otherwise, the filling will start coming out and the oil will start popping and it can be dangerous.
Serve the croquettes along a rich aioli and enjoy!