Recipe: Cuttlefish croquetas

After our tapas supper club last week and the amazing feedback we got on the night and after, I thought I should share the recipe of the favorite dish of the night.

I am not going to lie, it’s not a dish you just do for a quick supper. It needs a bit of planning as you need to get the freshest of the cuttlefish or squid  (I prefer with cuttlefish). You also need patience while the cuttlefish simmers very slowly until it’s soft and juicy and then you need to wait for the mixture to cool down before you can make it into balls (or any shape you want), for then cover them in egg and breadcrumbs and deep fry them.

If all this doesn’t put you off you are in  for a treat!

Ingredients for 20 croquetas:

500ml fish stock
150ml white wine
150ml whole milk
100g plain flour
4 sachets of squid ink
Butter 130g
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large cuttlefish, cleaned and cut into small pieces and scored.
Lemon juice
2 eggs, beaten
plain flour for paner
Dry breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Season the cuttlefish and fry the scored pieces until slightly colour. Set aside. Melt 30g of the butter in a saucepan and gently sweat the onion and garlic until soft, then add the white wine, fish stock and squid, bring to the boil and simmer very gently for about 40 min or until the squid is tender. Remove the pieces of squid and put to one side to cool.

In a clean  pan, melt the rest of the butter, add the 100g of flour and stir on a low heat for a minute or so, then gradually whisk in the hot cooking liquor to avoid lumps forming, then add the ink, squeezing out as much as you can from the packets. Add some milk if the mixture is  too dry (you might not need it)

Bring to a simmer and continue simmering very gently for about 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. The sauce should be really thick and gluey, almost the consistency of mashed potato. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, finely chop the cuttlefish and mix in with the sauce; re-season if necessary and add a little lemon juice to taste. Place the mix in the fridge for a few hours then make small balls and place in the greaseproof lined tray and transfer to the freezer for one hour to firm them up.

Have three dishes ready, one with some flour, one with the beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Pass the croquetas through the flour, shaking off any excess, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Leave in the fridge until required or you can freeze them on a tray then transfer them to a freezer bag and cook them from frozen as and when you need them.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Fry the croquetas , turning them as they are cooking with a slotted spoon, then remove and drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately. I normally serve mine with aioli or a lemon mayo.



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