Homemade croquettes are made all over the globe, but they are especially well-loved in Spain. They come in different varieties and might contain ham or chicken in a béchamel sauce. They are then breaded and fried until crispy. Cheese or prawns might be used instead of the meat or, as in the following recipe, cod fish. You can buy salted cod for this or use cod which has been desalted.
If you are using salt which has not been desalted, you will have to do it yourself by soaking the salt cod in water for 24 to 48 hours (depending how salty it is), changing the water a few times. Do this in the refrigerator if the weather is warm. When you have desalted it, break the fish into small pieces with your fingers, removing any bits of bone or skin as you go.
Prepare these in advance if you like and keep them breaded until you are ready to fry them You can also freeze them breaded if you want to make extra. Serve these hot and freshly cooked as an appetizer with aioli (garlic mayonnaise) or your favorite dipping sauce. Most people consider creamy sauces to be best with cod croquettes.
- 7 oz skinless, boneless, desalted cod, torn into pieces
- 1 pint plus 2¾ tablespoons olive oil
- 1¾ oz all-purpose flour
- ½ onion
- 1 cup whole milk
- Salt, to taste
- All-purpose flour, beaten egg and fine breadcrumbs, as needed
- Chop the onion finely and sauté it in a nonstick pan with 2¾ tablespoons of oil until it is soft.
- Do not let it brown.
- Stir in the flour, then add the milk, stirring constantly until you get a thick sauce.
- Add the fish and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Remember the cod will add some of its own salt to the dish so you might not need any.
- Let this cod mixture cool for a couple of hours in the refrigerator, until the sauce is thick enough to mold.
- Form the thickened mixture into balls or log-shapes using a spoon, then roll them in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
- Fry in the remaining olive oil, until golden, then drain on paper towels.
- Serve right away.
Serve these delicious cod croquettes hot and crispy with lemon wedges, mayonnaise, or anything else you fancy with them. You can also serve bread and butter, as well as a herb garnish, like you see in the photo. Salt cod is easy to work with and of course it keeps for a long time, since the salt acts as a preservative, but you will need to soak it in water for a day or two before using it, else it will be far too salty. These croquettes make a great appetizer before a poultry or meat course, or you can make them as an indulgent mid-afternoon snack.
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