Today we are going to talk to you extensively, almost like a guide about croquettes and a lot of interesting aspects that, as you know, you can find in our blog. Let's get to the point:
What is a croquette? It is a breadcrumbed and fried roll of food (sometimes about leftovers) used as 'tapas' and appetizers in many bars and restaurants. Croquettes are a portion of dough that can have different shapes, although traditionally it is usually oval or round. Their content usually consists of ingredients related to meat, fish, vegetables and even fruit or sweets.
As many of you will already know, although we often think that the croquette is a product that comes from Spain, in reality its origin is French. We could tell a brief history of croquettes, but today we are going to expand a little more. Croquettes are very popular in Spain, the Netherlands and Sicily.
The croquette did not arrive in mainland Spain until the end of the 19th century. This appetizer originated in France, where an aristocrat named Louis de Bechamel, who was in charge of the kitchen of King Louis XIV, was the "father" of croquettes. The "father" of croquettes worked as a tax collector and was superintendent of the household of the Duke of Orleans. It is said that he, or one of his assistants, created the besamel. This sauce was actually the result of the improvement of an older cream-based sauce by François Pierre de la Varenne, cook to the Marquis of Uxelles, to whom he dedicated it, as cooks often did for the nobility of the time.
But it was not until 1817 that the chef Antoine Camere served him croquettes a la royale at a dinner for the Archduke of Russia. It seems that this chef had the brilliant idea of covering the bechamel with a crispy coating.
However, it seems that there are more people who took credit for creating the basis of good homemade croquettes. There is an Italian theory that the croquette was created by Catherine de Medici's Florentine cooks who accompanied her to her wedding in Marseille to Henry II of Orleans in 1533. They claim to be the inventors of bechamel sauce thanks to the fact that this queen started a gastronomic revolution in France.
Finally, we can cite another hypothesis, albeit with little foundation. Duke Philippe de Mornay, Governor of Saumur and Lord of Plessis, has been credited with the invention of various sauces: Mornay, Lyonnaise, Port and Chasseur. By way of an anecdote, it is interesting to note, even if the credibility is not very high.
The original French croquette (croquette) was much harder than the one we know today. It is often said that "every master has his own recipe", as each country has adapted the recipe to its own customs, and it is common to find croquettes in Europe, but they are usually made of mashed potato in batter, without bechamel sauce or anything else.
The term croquette is attributed to the onomatopoeia croc or croquer (to crunch). And from there, croquette. In other countries it changes its name: kroket (Holland), krokett (Hungary), korokke (Japan), croquete (Portugal/Brazil), kroketten (Germany), croquette (in English). In Spain, some people colloquially mispronounce this product and call it <<cocreta>>, a term that is not currently accepted by the RAE.
In our country, people tend to use leftovers from other foods to add them to one of the most delicious starters that are a hit in online croquette shops. We are sure that in the future, there will be more and more recipes for homemade croquettes.
Did you know that International Croquette Day is celebrated every year on 16th January? Something that everyone loves should have its own special date and this delicacy is not going to be left behind.
Did you know that gourmet croquettes have a high sodium content? This property helps you to control high blood pressure. Nor should we forget that, as they are made with milk, they provide a large amount of calcium, which is perfect for our bones!
In order to obtain the richest and healthiest croquettes, you will have to select the foods that have the vitamins you want. You can make meat croquettes, fish croquettes, vegetable croquettes or sweet croquettes, and remember to always place an absorbent paper towel on the croquettes so they don't get too much oil.
Many people always consider croquettes to be an unhealthy product to keep on a diet, and it is clear that being a fried snack in oil, its calories increase, but it cannot be considered a reason to give up the nutritional properties of croquettes.
A croquette with an approximate weight of 25 grams normally has about 60 kilocalories and when fried, they can reach about 100 kcal. What is the trick to reduce the final calories?
The croquettes should be placed in the frying pan or deep fryer when the oil is very hot, thus creating a kind of layer of breadcrumbs around the croquette.
This prevents the croquette from absorbing the oil, and then we have to use the kitchen roll to remove the excess fat from the "gold liquid".
How many times have you had leftovers from other meals and didn't know what to do with them? Well, if you didn't know, these "leftovers" can be reused to make tasty croquette recipes.
Here we show you all the different types of croquettes you can create:
To make good, tasty croquettes, you first have to make a good bechamel sauce for croquettes.
For us, this is what really makes the difference between one good croquette and another.
Patience is a very important virtue when making this white sauce, because if we are not patient when making our croquette dough, it will be caked.
The essential ingredients to make this croquette dough are: flour, salt, onion, whole milk and butter.
If you use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, you will be making a major mistake when making the main base of our delicious appetizer.
It is not necessary to add finely chopped onion to make the besamel, but it gives it an excellent touch of flavour.
6.1.- What steps should we take to make handmade croquettes?
1.- Chop the onion very finely and place it in a frying pan and poach it with a little oil. Add the main ingredient for the croquettes and when it is done, remove from the heat and leave to stand.
2.- To make the dough, pour the butter into a casserole over a medium heat until it melts. At this point, add the flour to the pan and stir until you get a yellow-coloured cream. Let the mixture cook, stirring constantly. Then add the milk little by little (it must not be cold, it must be at room temperature) together with the salt and continue stirring until you get the texture of the bechamel sauce that you want to give our croquette base. The dough must have consistency.
3.- Add the onion and any other ingredients you want to add to the sauce (ham, boletus, cod, etc.) and once it is ready, leave to cool for about 5 hours.
Shape the croquettes (we are now going to explain how to do this).
5.- In a bowl, beat 2 eggs well, without leaving any lumps. In a separate dish, put some breadcrumbs and what we have to do is pass the croquette through the breadcrumbs and then put it in the bowl with the egg.
6.- In a frying pan with very hot oil at 180ºC, fry the croquettes. It is important not to put too many croquettes in the frying pan or deep fryer at the same time, as they may break. They must have their own space so that they are perfect.
7.- Drain the croquettes on absorbent paper and put them on a plate to serve. Bon apetit! How to shape the dough for homemade croquettes
This is a matter of personal taste when it comes to shaping the croquettes. You can make them round, cylindrical or oval-shaped. You can do it in different ways depending on the croquette making utensils:
To prevent our croquettes from suffering any kind of mishap, it is really important not to make the following mistakes in order to make the perfect croquette:
Depending on where you are, you can eat them in 2 ways: