Meat Croquettes

meat croquettes croquetas de carne

Since for about more than a month everything is turning around christmas, my recipes should do to. So much family, friends and work lunches/dinners, and so much leftovers that in some point you just throw away, bored of seeing them everyday in your fridge. Meat leftovers from a soup or a roast are not going to be a problem anymore.

Some years ago I posted a recipe of cannelloni from leftover meat, and today it’s the turn of the Croquettes. Very easy, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. They also freeze well so you can store them and deep-fry them whenever you have some friends over, pairing them with some beer and dips.

It’s a typical dish in Spain, well, better said, a tapa. You can find croquetas  in many tapas bars in Spain and most of spanish moms have their own recipe to make them, with many other different fillings. But you don’t need to travel so far for that, you can bring Spain to your home following this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 300 g leftover meat (turkey, chicken, beef, pork, goose… a mixture of all, it doesn’t matter)
  • 500 ml milk
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 60 g  plain flour for the béchamel, and some more for the rolling
  • a little finely diced shallot
  • salt, ground pepper and ground nutmeg
  • bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying them

Preparation

Heat the butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and, when the butter melts, add the onion and fry gently for a minute until transparent. Turn the heat down, gradually stir in the flour and cook gently, stirring regularly, until it loses its raw flavour – this should take about 8–10 minutes. Gradually stir in the hot milk, beating it in well, until you have a smooth paste. Cook for another 15 minutes until it thickens, then fold through the finely diced meat and season to taste with a grating of nutmeg, some salt and ground pepper. Put the béchamel in a bowl and allow to cool, then put the mixture into a piping bag, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Put the beaten eggs and some flour each separately  into bowls,  and the breadcrumbs into another. On a floured surface, pipe out the mixture into cylinders (5 cm length, 1,5-2 cm o) flour them good, dip into the egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan to 180 ºC, or until it begins to shimmer. Prepare a plate lined with kitchen roll. Fry the croquetas in batches for a couple of minutes until golden all over, then lift out with a slotted spoon and serve at once (they are also very good on the next day ;)).

meat croquettes croquetas de carne

 

Read you soon!

H.

 

 

Tomato and Tuna Empanadillas

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I think I never told you about it, but my grandpa, the father of my father, was a baker. He owned a bakery in Alicante (Spain). I was never there, at least as far as I can remember, but my dad used to work there when he was still at school/university so he picked up on many recipes and things that happened there. What I can remember is how I loved to visit my grandparents because there was always something delicious to eat, sweet or hearty.

One of those godly treats were these Empanadillas, half-moon dough filled with tomato and tuna. It’s a very typical dish to eat as a snack in the afternoon, or to find at parties as finger-food.

My dad was kind enough to send me the recipe so that I could show them to you, thanks dad! I’ve tried many other ways of doing the dough but this one is just the perfect one. Let’s get to it!

Ingredients for 10 empanadillas

  • 100 ml white wine
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 350 gr flour, keep 50 gr more aside in case the dough is too soft
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can tuna in olive oil (approx. 150 gr drained weight)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 200 gr can peeled tomatoes with juice
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

Preparation 

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle and pour the wine and the olive oil inside. Mix with the hands till the dough doesn’t stick on your hands or bowl walls. At the end you’ll have more or less 600 gr of dough.

For the filling, warm up the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. When the onion is done add the green bell pepper and cook until soft. process the tomatoes with a food processor and add the tomato puree into the saucepan. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are melded and the liquid is slightly reduced, 15-20 minutes. Add the tuna without the oil and the finely chopped eggs, cook for 5 minutes. Let the filling cool down before you fill the empanadillas (I forgot to do that, that’s why mine are in some spots open)

Take the dough and make 10, 60 gr balls of it. With the hands, gently flatten each ball into 4mm thickness, and shape them like an ellipse. Spoon about a Tbs of the filling into the middle, fold in half to form a half-moon and pinch to seal closed, or seal with a fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

On a baking sheet, arrange prepared empanadas in a single layer and brush top with egg wash. Bake in a 180ºC preheated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to slightly cool for about 1 to 2 minutes and remove from baking sheet.

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Now I have to try to keep my hands off them since I’m trying to cut the carbs, but hey, you don’t, so what are you waiting for?

Read you soon!

H.

 

 

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

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“It tastes like fall” said Anna when she tried it, and well it’s absolutely true. Season cooking makes that to us, you eat a dish that directly brings you back to those days where you enjoyed the same dish years ago. Pumpkin season is on, and I’m ready for it!

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 1 Hokkaido pumpkin
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 30 gr ginger
  • 1 l vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs coconut milk
  • olive oil or butter
  • curry, cayenne pepper, salt & pepper

Preparation

Divide the Hokkaido pumpkin in half with a sharp knife, remove the seeds with a spoon and dice in 2-3 cm pieces (Hokkaido doesn’t need to be peeled). Peel and cut the carrots, the onion and ginger, same big as the pumpkin pieces.

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil (butter or coconut oil), add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Then add the ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the carrot. Cook for 2-3 more minutes and add the pumpkin. Before it starts sticking to the bottom of your pot add the vegetable broth. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until soft.

Blend everything with your hand blender until smooth. Season with curry, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and coconut milk to taste and blend again until mixed.

Serve with extra coconut milk or creme fraîche and a few more pinches of cayenne pepper if desired.

Enjoy!

H.

 

Grilled Pesto Shrimp on White Risotto

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Since life isn’t getting any easier (from my point of view just the opposite ¬¬), with summer vacation behind us and lots of personal drama, that isn’t just going to fade away, I’m not going to make more excuses and I’m going to try to update more often. Because maybe and just maybe the best therapy is doing what I love the most, cooking and sharing it with you.

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 300 gr Risotto rice
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 l vegetable stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 100 gr freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • green pesto
  • 0,5 kg shrimp
  • olive oil, garlic oil, sea salt and pepper

Preparation

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil covering the bottom of the saucepan, then add the onion and cook until soft, doesn’t have to get colour. Increase the heat and add rice, stirring to coat. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly until the rice is translucent and gets an ivory colour, then add the wine, it has to cover the rice. Continue to stir as the rice absorbs the wine, do not stop stirring at any time. When most of the wine is absorbed, add some of the vegetable stock, again just covering the rice, and stir until the stock is absorbed. Repeat the process with the stock 3-4 times till the rice ist cooked, it takes about 20-25 minutes. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper, I also add some garlic oil. When the rice is ready to be served add the parmesan cheese and stir until fully incorporated.

Thread 3 shrimp onto each wooden skewer, place on a plate and set aside. Brush the pesto over the prawns, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and then place them under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes either side.

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Read you soon!

H.

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Gazpacho Andaluz (Cold Tomato Soup)

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I don’t know about you but I’m craving for salad, cold soups, refreshing beverages, ice cream… It’s getting hot in here! 😀

Gazpacho is usually served as an appetizer, but I also like to eat it as a light dinner. It’s fresh, kinda sour and with the special touch which the little diced ingredients inside give to it, it’s just perfect! This soup is so easy and refreshing that when you try it you are not going to want to eat anything else during tomato season.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients for 8-10 servings

  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 400 gr cucumber
  • 200 gr green pepper
  • 200 gr onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50 ml Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 25 ml sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • For the garnish, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, shallot onion and ciabatta bread

Preparation

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and remove the seeds. In a food processor or blender, place the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar and Extra Virgin olive oil. Blend everything thoroughly. If needed, add a little bit of water for desired consistency.

For the garnish, dice the tomato, cucumber, green pepper and shallot onion. Dice also the ciabatta bread and then fry to make your own croutons.

Serve cold with garnishes on the side so each guest can “pimp” their soup.

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Read you soon!

H

Zucchini Tortilla

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So… the summer is coming and with it, the pressure of losing some pounds. I’ve been thinking of some recipes that are low in carbs but also appealing, so I don’t have that urge of cheating and eat a bag of chips. When I’m trying to eat better, what helps me is making a weekly plan of what I want to eat and buying everything at once, so I always have something there to eat. Going every second day to the supermarket is just too much temptation for me.

My parents have a vegetable garden at home so I’ve grown up eating lots of vegetables, though just those in season. So when the summer comes I know is zucchini time! That means I’ll end up eating zucchini in every form and stage of growth, nearly every day. Tortilla is one of them, and also my favorite, toping even cheese filled zucchini flowers in tempura, and those are not easy to top 😉

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Ingredients for a 23cm skillet

  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • oil, salt and pepper

Preparation

Heat some of the olive oil in the skillet. Add half of the sliced zucchini and onions mix and cook this over medium heat, stirring the mixture every once in a while until the zucchini are tender but not browned. It’s best to do it in two batches so it doesn’t take ages for the zucchini to lose water.

When done, drain the mixture and reserve the oil. This oil can be used later for cooking something else. Let the mixture cool down a little bit. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a bowl (traditionally with a fork), add the mixture to the beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper.

Clean the skillet you used for cooking the zucchini with a paper cloth, leaving the surface of the skillet with a thin oil layer, that should be enough. Heat the skillet to a medium high temperature and add the mixture. With a spatula mix a little bit not letting the mixture stick at the bottom for 1 minute and then let cook evenly. Cover the skillet with a plate (it has to be slightly larger than the skillet) and flip it around, immediately put it back in the skillet now letting the other side brown. With the spatula put the sides together so you get a nicely round tortilla at the end. Flip the tortilla 2 or 3 more times, cooking briefly on each side.

Transfer to a clean plate and serve. It can also be eaten cold or at room temperature.

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Which are your tricks for eating healthier?

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H.

 

Onion Soup

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After a couple of weeks of hard work, here I am again. When I got rid of all my work stress I realized that I’ve catched a pretty big cold. So…what do I do when I need to get well soon? I cook me a very warm soup. Onion soup is even more perfect for the task, because onions help a lot with the congestion. That’s what I’ll be eating for the next few days, hoping to get well very soon 🙂

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Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 4 large yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 50 gr butter
  • “Baguette” bread, sliced and toasted brown (approx. 16 slices, 4 each serving)
  • 1 “Maggi Cube” – bouillon cube or stock cube
  • 2 liters water
  • 4 eggs
  • 120 gr (30 gr slice each) cheese, like Manchego, Havarti or Gruyère
  • oregano

Preparation

In a large pot melt butter and add the thin sliced onions over medium high heat. Stir and cook onions for about 15 minutes or until really soft and tender. Add the stock cube, smash it and mix it with the onions, add 1/2 liter water and stir breaking up any browned bits on the bottom of pan. Pour in the rest of the water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
Meanwhile turn your oven on to grill and prepare oven safe bowl. Ladle the soup into bowls, break an egg inside the soup, divide the toasted baguette slices (4 or 5 each) among the bowls, top each bowl with cheese. Carefully place in oven and grill until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Be careful when serving, the bowls would be very hot, warn your guests about this too! 😉

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Read you soon!

H.