Bloody Lovely: Morcilla Croquettes

Hello all!

Abuelita Conchi, the instigator of this recipe

Abuelita Conchi, the instigator of this recipe

Thank you for popping back for another one of my ReciPez ;-). This time I am delighted to present Croquetas de Morcilla, one of my pieces de resistance, immediately devoured every time they make an appearance at any party. Extremely popular in Spain, croquetas can come with a variety of fillings, the most traditional being serrano ham, but also chicken, boiled egg or morcilla in this case. Abuelita Conchi used to cook these for us, inspired by a similar dish she had in an Asturian restaurant, so they hold a huge emotional value for me as well. Fantastic as finger food, although not as good as picnic food as they’re much better when eaten hot, I will often prepare a batch of these and taken them along to my friends’ to be fried there. They are freezer-friendly too, so you can keep them frozen and whip them out for a speedy and tasty snack should unexpected visits turn up. Get ready to roll 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 25 gr butter (salted or unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp plain white flour
  • 1/2 litre milk
  • 1 cooking morcilla (Spanish black pudding), chopped into small pieces
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs
  • oil (sunflower/olive) for deep-frying

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Recommended cooking music: Mano Negra “Casa Babylon”

Instructions:

  • The filling for these croquettes is a thick bechamel sauce, to which we will add the morcilla later. For this I usually follow Maria Luisa Garcia’s recipe, to be found in her excellent book El Arte de Cocinar, very popular with Asturians and still sold today. The milk has to be warm when it’s added, so it’s a good idea to heat it in a pan on a low fire while you tinker with the other bechamel ingredients. In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan, and when it’s melted, add the flour, stirring continuously for about 3-4 minutes, trying not to brown or burn it.

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  • When finished, remove from the fire and add the milk a little bit at a time, stirring and getting rid of any lumps that appear (which will be many), to give the bechamel a smooth and creamy texture

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  • When all the milk has been added, stir well and de-lump, and put back on a medium fire. Cook for about 15 minutes or until it reaches a thick and creamy consistency, stirring all the time with a whisk, to get ready of yet more lumps that will keep cropping up.

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  • Once the bechamel has reached the desired consistency, remove from fire and stir in the morcilla.

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  • Decant the croquette filling into a shallow oven dish and cool for several hours, ideally overnight at room temperature, or if you’re in a hurry in the fridge until it’s cold and bouncy to the touch. If you have any pets, or humans prone to sticking their paws into food, it might be best to cover the dish with kitchen foil or cling film. I once left mine on the kitchen counter to find a cat’s paw print on it when I went to use it!

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  • When the filling is ready to use, get your breading ingredients ready: flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Also, you’ll need a container or a plate to put the rolled croquettes in.

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  • Take a teaspoon and scoop up a heaped spoonful of the morcilla paste on to the flour and roll. Using your hands, roll this paste into a cylindrical shape. Then dip into the egg, take it out with a fork and transfer to the breadcrumbs bowl. Roll and take out on to a plate. Voila! You have a croquette 🙂

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  • Repeat until you’ve run out of paste. Once you’ve got all the croquettes, if you wish to cook them straight away, get a deep frying pan ready and fry them in abundant oil. Make sure the oil is really hot before putting them in, or they will split (there is a high chance this will happen anyway, so don’t worry if it does; people will eat them anyway, I assure you!). Cook until golden, then take out on to a plate or bowl covered in kitchen paper, to absorb some of the oil.

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Serve and enjoy! (Cute mini-paella dish optional)

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Hasta la proxima, amigos! 🙂

Pez x

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