Posts Tagged ‘ham’

Cooler fall weather always gets us craving for comfort foods, and this is one we discovered on a trip to Spain in 2014. Croquettes are the Spanish equivalent of chicken nuggets: they’re found on every kids’ menu…and my daughter ordered them just about everywhere we went! So it’s no surprise that I “got the order” to make a batch of croquettes this weekend!

image

I found a great recipe for croquettes in Saveur magazine, and decided to try it out. I was a bit clumsy at making them at first–they do need a bit of finesse–but by the end of the batch, I got the hang of it. And to make them gluten-free, I simply substituted GF flour and breadcrumbs for the all-purpose flour and Panko.

image

 

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
6 oz. ham, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour like Cup4Cup)
2 eggs
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
avocado oil for frying

 

image

Peel the potatoes, cut them into 1″ cubes and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain and set them aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot the potatoes were in, then add the onions and saute until translucent. Put the potatoes back in the pot and add 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Add more cream, if needed, but be careful not to make it mushy.

Add the cheese and mix until it has melted in. Add the ham and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the contents of the pot into a metal bowl and place it in the freezer to cool, stirring every 10 minutes until the mashed potato mix is cold, but not frozen.

Line up three bowls: flour (or GF flour) in the first bowl, eggs (scrambled) in the second bowl, Panko (or GF breadcrumbs) in the third.

Remove the mashed potato mix from the freezer, and with floured hands, grab enough to gently roll a small meatball in your hands. (I’ve found that starting with a round shape makes it easier to work with.)

Roll the ball in the flour, then the egg, then drop in the Panko and roll again. With the ball in your hand, gently squeeze into a tubular shape, and then place it on a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Continue with the rest of the potato mixture. (You may need to add another egg or two if you run out.)

Once you’ve rolled all the croquettes, place the sheet pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.

Heat a pan with 2″ of oil to 350 degrees. Remove the croquettes from the freezer, and working in small batches, fry them until golden brown. Place on paper towels, and quickly season lightly with salt while hot, if desired.

image

 

The croquettes freeze really well, so this batch goes a long way. Once they’ve been fried, let them cool completely to room temp. Place them in Ziploc freezer bags and store in the freezer. When it’s time to cook them, let them thaw for about 15 minutes, then place in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for another 15 minutes.

 

Advertisements

On our trip to Spain in 2014, croquettes were served in just about every restaurant we went to. My daughter fell in love with them, and they became the “chicken nugget” of our trip: the go-to kid food we knew we’d always rely on.

image

Once we got home, I could only find them on-line, not in stores. And since they ship frozen, it required a large purchase.

Luckily, I found a great recipe in Saveur magazine, and decided to try it out. I was a bit clumsy at making them at first–they do need a bit of finesse–but by the end of the batch, I got the hang of it. And to make them gluten-free, I simply substituted GF flour and breadcrumbs for the all-purpose flour and Panko.

image

 

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
6 oz. ham, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour like Cup4Cup)
2 eggs
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
avocado oil for frying

 

image

Peel the potatoes, cut them into 1″ cubes and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain and set them aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot the potatoes were in, then add the onions and saute until translucent. Put the potatoes back in the pot and add 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Add more cream, if needed.

Add the cheese and mix until it has melted in. Add the ham and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the contents of the pot into a metal bowl and place in the freezer to cool, stirring every 10 minutes until the mashed potato mix is cold, but not frozen.

Line up three bowls: flour (or GF flour) in the first bowl, eggs (scrambled) in the second bowl, Panko (or GF breadcrumbs) in the third.

Remove the mashed potato mix from the freezer, and with floured hands, grab enough to gently roll a small meatball in your hands. (I’ve found that starting with a round shape makes it easier to work with.)

Roll the ball in the flour, then the egg, then drop in the Panko and roll again. With the ball in your hand, gently squeeze into a tubular shape, and then place it on a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Continue with the rest of the potato mixture. (You may need to add another egg or two if you run out.)

Once you’ve rolled all the croquettes, place them back in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. (I use a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil.)

Heat a pan with 2″ of oil to 350 degrees. Remove the croquettes from the freezer, and working in small batches, fry them until golden brown. Place on paper towels, and quickly season lightly with salt while hot, if desired.

image

 

The croquettes freeze really well, so this batch goes a long way. Once they’ve been fried, let them cool completely to room temp. Place them in Ziploc freezer bags and store in the freezer. When it’s time to cook them, let them thaw for about 15 minutes, then place in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for another 15 minutes.

 

No trip to Madrid is complete without visiting a couple of food markets. The quality and selection of foods, ready-to-eat on location or packaged to go, is mind-boggling!

Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

On our recent trip to Madrid, we sampled foods from two food markets: Mercado de San Miguel and Mercado San Anton.

Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel

Praised by many as the best market in the city, Mercado de San Miguel is near the tourist center of Madrid, by the Plaza Mayor, a plaza featuring open-air restaurants, outdoor concerts and loads of street performers looking to make a few bucks. The choice of foods at Mercado de San Miguel is incredible, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find an empty seat.

My not-so-adventurous daughter found happiness in a personal pizza.

My not-so-adventurous daughter found happiness in a personal pizza.

It’s worth the extra effort to elbow your way over to your own private corner of the market to enjoy everything from olives to oysters.

image

 

image

 

 

House-made sangria and little salamis served up like french fries.

House-made sangria and little salamis served up like french fries.

Grilled sardines.

Grilled sardines.

Sweet as well as savory bites.

Sweet as well as savory bites.

If you’re lucky enough to have a place to cook, you can take home some fantastic seafood…

image

 

…including swordfish and squid!

image

 

Though the Mercado de San Miguel clearly has it all, its large size and huge crowds can be a challenge to those not wanting to stand in long lines. The Mercado San Anton across town, meanwhile, is funky, smaller and a more manageable market.

Pork heaven at Mercado San Anton.

Pork heaven at Mercado San Anton.

 

Mercado San Anton has five floors. Three feature food shops and tapas bars. Grab a bite and a drink right there or take it with you.

Our favorite tapas when in Spain: a skewer of olives, peppers and anchovies.

Our favorite tapas when in Spain: Gilda de Boqueron y Anchoa (a skewer of olives, peppers and anchovies.)

And on the top floor: a great restaurant that you shouldn’t miss: La Cocina de San Anton. If for no other reason, you need to dine here to experience the magnificent plate of Iberico ham and other meats they offer, sliced to order. This is truly a situation where more is more.

Acorn-fed Iberico ham: there's nothing like it!

Acorn-fed Iberico ham: there’s nothing like it!

 

The window at Cocina de San Anton.

The window at Cocina de San Anton: it’s all about the pig!

We’d go back to the Mercado San Anton in a heartbeat. Located in the colorful Chueca neighborhood full of art galleries, it’s a place where you can easily spend hours and hours over lunch.

Madrid has many fine restaurants. But tapas are a great way for any self-respecting foodie to explore the markets for a real taste of this beautiful city.

image

 

 

 

On our recent trip to Spain, croquettes were served in just about every restaurant we went to. My 7-year-old daughter fell in love with them, and they became the “chicken nugget” of our trip: the go-to kid food we knew we’d always find on the kids menu.

image

Once we got home to the States, I started looking for them and only found them on-line, not in stores. And since they’re shipped frozen, it required a large purchase: a major hassle to buy them.

Luckily, I found a great recipe in Saveur magazine, and decided to try it out. I was a bit clumsy at making them at first–they do need a bit of finesse–but by the end of the batch, I got the hang of it.

image

 

 

Ingredients:

 

2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, minced

1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream

6 oz cheddar cheese, grated

6 oz ham, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs

2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

avocado oil (or vegetable oil–for frying)

 

image

Peel the potatoes, cut them into 1″ cubes and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain and set them aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot the potatoes were in, then add the onions and saute until translucent. Put the potatoes back in the pot and add 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Add more cream, if needed.

Add the cheese and mix until it has melted in. Add the ham and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the contents of the pot into a metal bowl and place in the freezer to cool, stirring every 10 minutes until the mashed potato mix is cold, but not frozen.

Line up three bowls: flour in the first bowl, eggs (scrambled) in the second bowl, Panko in the third.

Remove the mashed potato mix from the freezer, and with floured hands, grab enough to gently roll a small meatball in your hands. (I’ve found that starting with a round shape makes it easier to work with.)

Roll the ball in the flour, then the egg, then drop in the Panko and roll again. With the ball in your hand, gently squeeze into a tubular shape, and then place it on a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Continue with the rest of the potato mixture. (You may need to add another egg or two if you run out.)

Once you’ve rolled all the croquettes, place them back in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. (I use a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil.)

Heat a pan with 2″ of oil to 350 degrees. Remove the croquettes from the freezer, and working in small batches, fry them until golden brown. Place on paper towels, and quickly season lightly with salt while hot, if desired.

image

 

The croquettes freeze really well, so this batch goes a long way. Once they’ve been fried, let them cool completely to room temp. Place them in Ziploc freezer bags and store in the freezer. When it’s time to cook them, let them thaw for about 15 minutes, then place in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for another 15 minutes.