Spanish Croquettes paired with The Shadow of the Wind

Fiction To Sink Your Teeth Into, a feature from author and professional chef Rohan O’Duill!

Fermín breathed deeply, with relief, and I knew I wasn’t the only one to be rejoicing at having left that place behind…

“Listen, Daniel. What would you say to some ham croquettes and a couple of glasses of sparkling wine here in the Xampañet, just to take away the bad taste left in our mouths?”

This month I have chosen the atmospheric and beautifully written Shadow of the Wind and paired it with Spanish croquettes. I hope that this recipe, along with a nice glass of rioja, will immerse you into the Barcelona vibe that comes through so strongly in the book.

Traditional Spanish croquettes are made with a béchamel sauce and involve a two-day cook, so I have simplified this a bit by using potatoes for the croquettes. Apologies to our Spanish readers for the abomination.

Crispy Spanish croquettes with a glass of wine and a copy of The Shadow of the Wind

Snack – serves 2/3

Ingredients

• 3 regular potatoes, peeled
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 finely diced onion
• 75g cup grated Manchego cheese
• 50g diced Serrano ham
• 50g flour
• 2 eggs
• dash of milk
• 100g breadcrumbs
• Salt and pepper
• Canola oil for frying
• Peri peri sauce to serve with

Utensils

Pot or deep fat fryer, & 3 Bowls.

Method
• Peel and boil the potatoes for 20 mins. Strain and mash. Add in the diced onion, egg yolk, cheese, Serrano ham, salt and pepper and mix together.
• Set up a panné station of three bowls. One with flour, one with the eggs and milk, and one with the breadcrumbs.
• Break the potato mix up into small balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Form each of them into a cylinder shape. Dip this croquette into the flour and breadcrumb in turn.
• Pour about 4cm of oil into a pot and heat up to gas mark 6. Gently place the croquettes into the oil and cook until golden brown. Open frying is extremely dangerous so supervise the pot at all times and make sure there are no kids or nosy cats in the immediate vicinity.
• Serve with the peri peri sauce and a nice glass of Spanish rioja. Sit back and enjoy the book.

Variations
Leave out the ham to make vegetarian. Change to a vegan cheese to make vegan.

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