Croquettes

Every family has its own version of croquettes, or ‘croquetas’ as they are known in Spanish. Usually they are made with a thickened bechamel sauce with other ingredients, that are then battered in flour, sometimes egg and breadcrumbs, and fried. They can also be made with potato instead of bechamel (such as this recipe).

In Spain they are many times served as a tapa, although this is traditional and frugal that has the main purpose of using leftover ingredients, usually meats. This version, however, is vegan / vegetarian (both options are given in the ingredients and method).

This recipe is based on my family recipe and both my mother and grandmother have always made croquettes with potato instead of a thickened bechamel sauce. In my (biased) opinion they are tastier this way and much easier to make. In my family recipe the croquettes are also just dipped in flour and then fried, which saves time and mess, without having to dip them in egg and breadcrumbs. It also helps to keep it vegan if you so wish, but you can add those extra steps.

Croquettes tend to be made with leftover cooked meat or tuna. To make them vegan or vegetarian all you have to do is substitute that for some plant-based meat. You can use mince, sausages, or any other substitute; whatever you have to hand. I like to use Quorn, microwaved as per the packet instructions and then finely diced or pulsed in the food processor.

For the vegan version the egg is substituted for chickpea flour and water, combined into a paste. This will have serve same effect of binding the mixture and you can also add some Himalayan black salt for some eggy flavour.

The croquettes once fried are crispy on the outside, smooth and creamy on the inside and absolutely moreish and delicious!

Croquettes
Yield: 30-32 Servings
Difficulty: Medium
Prep time:
Cooking time:

Description

A vegan / vegetarian version of the traditional Spanish 'croquetas' recipe, made with potatoes instead of a bechamel sauce. Easy, simple and very tasty traditional food that tastes like the regular version with a few simple substitutions.

Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

  • 900 g (3 large) potatoes
  • 220 g plant-based meat substitute
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp finely diced parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup of plain (all purpose) flour
  • oil for frying

For the vegetarian version

  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grated hard cheese

For the vegan version

  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour + 4tbsp of water
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan black salt (kala namak), optional
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
  • 2 pounds (3 large) potatoes
  • ½ pound of plant-based meat substitute
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp finely diced parsley
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup of plain (all purpose) flour
  • oil for frying

For the vegetarian version

  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup grated hard cheese

For the vegan version

  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour + 4tbsp of water
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan black salt (kala namak), optional
  • ¼ cup of nutritional yeast

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes with their skins on for about 45 minutes.
  2. Once cooked peel the potatoes (the skin should come off with ease).
  3. Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash until you have a smooth puree without lumps.
  4. Finely dice the garlic and parsley and add to the potatoes.
  5. Add the dried oregano or marjoram, and olive oil.
  6. Finely dice the plant based meat (can be pulsed in a food processor), which needs to be  already cooked and ready to eat.
  7. Mix well and add seasoning to taste.
  8. For the vegetarian version add the beaten egg and grated cheese and mix well.
  9. For the vegan version add the chickpea flour with water and the Himalayan black salt. Mix well until there are no lumps and it has the consistency of a beaten egg. Add to the mixture together with the nutritional yeast and mix well.
  10. Allow the mixture to cool in the refrigerator for a few hours or even overnight.
    To shape the croquettes
  11. Get a spoonful and shape into a ball shape with your hands and then flatten slightly to more of a cylindrical shape.
  12. Dip the croquettes into a plate with flour, roll to cover the croquettes in flour and gently remove any excess. Put on a plate until ready to start frying.
  13. When all the croquettes are done and floured heat up the oil in a frying pan to a medium to high heat.
  14. Gently fry the croquettes, five or six at a time for a couple of minutes on each side until they are golden brown on all sides.
  15. Place on some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
  16. Serve warm or cold!

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