A Spanish croquette is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a popular Spanish food bite to enjoy as a snack or while having drinks with friends. Croquettes are traditionally referred to as tapas by Spaniards. Tapas is a snack or appetizer served with a drink. A common phrase that goes with tapas in Spain is “eat when you drink, drink when you eat.”
A croquette is a deep-fried roll with a creamy inner layer & a crispy breaded outer layer. The inner layer contains ingredients that range from vegetables, meats & leftover foods. These ingredients are mixed with a binder made from mashed potatoes or bechamel sauce (flour, milk & butter). Croquette is the perfect comfort food that is crunchy, buttery, salty & delicious.
The most popular Spanish croquette recipe is croquetas de jamón, made from Spanish ham. Other popular croquettes we will discuss are chicken, fish, cod, shrimp, and vegetable croquettes.
Croquetas de Jamón
Croquetas de jamón, also known as ham croquettes, is a staple food in Spain found in most Spanish tapas menus. They’re small, breaded & fried cylindrical-shaped fritters made from bechamel sauce and Spanish cured ham. To get the best results, ensure you:
- Finely dice the ham, which enables it to mix easily with the dough
- Refrigerate the mixture for at least three hours or even overnight
- Allow time for the bechamel sauce to chill to prevent it from falling apart
The croquetas de jamón’s crispness, creamy texture & unique ham flavor make it an excellent evening snack with a glass of your favorite Spanish wine.
Chicken croquettes, or croquetas de pollo, are well liked with a buttery bechamel base mixed with shredded or finely diced chicken & then shaped into round or oval patties. These croquettes also have a golden, crispy outer covering made from egg wash & breadcrumbs with a soft, almost drippy center.
Chicken croquettes are fun, easy to make & delicious. You can use leftover chicken to make them, giving your loved ones a finger-licking appetizer in the next meal. Add other ingredients into the mixture, such as chopped red or green bell peppers, creamy mayonnaise, garlic powder & other spices of your choice.
Fish croquettes are a great appetizer for an afternoon gathering, and it makes a bold statement about your exquisite food choice. Make your fish croquettes flavorful by adding herbs such as capers, parsley & chives or spices such as garlic & pepper.
A general rule for fish croquettes is to wrap the mixture and store it in the fridge for 30 minutes before shaping. This process helps to develop flavor and give firmness to the mixture.
Croquetas de bacalao or cod croquettes are popular traditional Spanish tapas. Experienced chefs use mashed potatoes instead of bechamel sauce to make this version of croquette. You can explore both versions in your favorite Socarrat restaurant, where we offer a wide variety of tapas with your preferred drink.
If you plan to make cod croquettes at home, remember to desalt them by soaking the filets in a bowl of cold water for 24 hours or preferably for two days. During preparations, you can boil it for 7 minutes to soften it or choose to skip this process & cook it together with your other ingredients.
Shrimp croquettes or croquetas de camarones give you a unique seafood experience even without additional herbs or spices. The essential ingredients you will need are shrimp, flour, milk, onions, salt, butter & egg.
When preparing, ensure the mixture is not watery or the ingredients are not falling apart by adding more flour or milk. To add an extra kick to the taste, plate the croquettes with a dipping sauce such as garlic butter sauce, tartar sauce, sour cream or mayo hot sauce.
Vegetable croquettes are a simple recipe for a quick vegetarian snack or side dish. Vegetable croquettes are the best way to use leftover vegetables and get your kids to eat them. The most popular and tasty vegetable croquette is the Croquetas Caseras de Espinacas—made from spinach.
Other spinach croquettes ingredients required include salt, butter, crumbled blue cheese, flour, and milk. You can make this vegetable croquette by cooking the spinach with butter then mixing it with flour and milk until you get a creamy mixture. Finally, add the cheese, then let the mixture cool before deep-frying.
Making Spanish croquettes to perfection can be a challenge for an inexperienced person. Order the best-tasting croquettes from a reputable Spanish tapas restaurant and experience the taste of one of Spain’s traditional tapas food.
If you’re interested to know more about the history of Spanish coffee, learn more about Spanish coffee, and the coffee culture in Spain.