Croquetas de Bacalao

January 15, 2007

I’m not sure who came up with the idea of deep frying bechamel, but I’m now considering polygymy. The contrast of the crisp shell with the hot creamy goodness on the inside is orgasmic. It doesn’t matter which side of the tracks, on which side of the globe your date hails from, David. She’ll swoon.

The Bacalao

1 pound salted cod, preferably the lomo or center cut
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs olive oil

The first thing to remember about salt cod is that it’s salted. You need to remove the salt unless you’d like an earful of “goodnight”. Submerge the fish in spring water for 24 hours and store in refrigerator. Change the water at least 3 times during the soaking.

Flake the cod and boil in fresh spring water for 8 minutes and drain. Saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic, serrano pepper and the cod. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add the cilantro, sautee a minute more and remove from the heat.

croquetas_bacalao.jpg

The Bechamel

You have to make this sauce a bit thicker than usual so it doesn’t fall apart when you put it in the hot oil. The key is to refrigerate the mixture until completely cold.

3 Tbs butter
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 to 4 Tbs flour
2 1/2 cups hot milk
6 green peppercorns
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 swipes of whole nutmeg on the nutmeg grater
1 small pinch of salt

Melt the butter slowly in a dutch oven enameled bottom sauce pan. Add the onion and saute on on low heat until translucent and soft.

Stir in the flour 1/2 Tbs at a time and continue cooking 2 minutes more. Whisk in the hot milk slowly until the sauce is smooth. Add the peppercorns, the thyme the bay leaf and salt. Easy on the salt. Grate in the nutmeg and continue cooking for 15 minutes stirring often.

Strain the sauce through a sieve, add the sauteed bacalao mixture and adjust salt. Spread on a cookie sheet and refrigerate.

The Croquetas

With floured hands, roll and shape the bechamel into 1/2-inch balls. Dip in a beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs to coat.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry the croquettes until golden. You can keep these warm in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes, but it’s best to eat them right away. Serve with a fino sherry.

One Response to “Croquetas de Bacalao”


  1. […] chatting. Start with a glass of sherry with serrano ham and olives, then pop the rioja and serve croquetas de bacalao, a classic tortilla and keep it going until the floor is littered with designer […]


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