My kids love croquettes, but that’s no wonder. I usually make them with the hen I use in the cocido, delicious, and my mother makes us tuna croquettes. But sometimes I like to experiment with new flavors, like these mushroom and manchego croquettes, which are unusual in that the mushroom flavor comes from mushroom meal. What is mushroom meal? Well, crushed dried mushrooms, my dears. Perfect if you want to impart mushroom flavor without bits of mushroom.
I bought this mushroom meal to add it to breads, but it can be perfectly be made at home. You only have to dry mushrooms in the fridge, which is one of the most efficient dehydrators we all have at home. I’ve done it once with shiitake mushrooms with excellent results. Then thoroughly crush the mushrooms and you’ll have a great condiment for various uses.
The shaping of the croquettes was normally done by using two spoons, but I prefer to make them using a pastry bag with a large round tip. It’s extremely easy and quick.
- 120g all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 liter of whole milk
- 2 tablespoons mushroom meal (porcini in this case)
- 50g of grated mature Manchego
- Nutmeg to taste
- Salt to taste
- 3 eggs for the coating
- Bread crumbs for the coating
- Olive oil for frying
- We begin by making the stiff bechamel. In a frying pan heat the oil and butter. When bubbling add the flour and stir-fry, stirring well with a wooden spoon until the flour has absorbed all the fat and you get a sort of crumbly mixture.
- Add the milk gradually, little by little, stirring well to incorporate thoroughly and crushing any lump with the back of a wooden spoon. It takes a while to finish all the milk as this has to be done slowly.
- When you 've added all the milk, add the mushroom milk, the grated manchego and the nutmeg. Continue stirring occasionally until the bechamel is so solid that pulls away from the sides of the pan.
- Salt to taste and pour the bechamel into a shallow container to cool. Cover with plastic touching the surface to prevent the formation of a skin. I like to leave the dough in the fridge to rest and set at least one night, so I usually prepare it in advance.
- To shape the croquettes with the pastry bag you need a large tip of around 1 inch wide. Put the bechamel into the pastry bag and close it.
- Lay the breadcrumbs on a large shallow dish and pipe a roll with the pastry bag on the bread crumbs, as seen in the photo. Cut the portions with scissors to the desired size and form the croquettes by rolling them in the bread crumbs in whatever shape you like, either in the traditional cylindrical shape or rounded, which the type D. likes best.
- Dip all the croquettes in beaten egg and then roll them again in the breadcrumbs. Let them dry for a while so that the coating gets firmer (I place them on a cooling rack) (1).
- Heat up a good amount of oil in a saucepan or small skillet, as it is best to fry the croquettes in small batches. The oil must cover them almost completely and be quite hot. When it is hot fry them in batches of 4 or 5, not more. Take them out when golden then drain them on a paper towel.
I like to add cheese to the croquettes bechamel, though you have to be careful not to overdo and not to use a very creamy cheese, because then the bechamel will be too soft and we know that can cause croquette explosion. These mushroom and manchego croquettes have an exquisite autumn flavor… you won’t be able to eat just one.
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