Salt Cod Croquettes
One of the most popular tapas in Spain is croquettes, which are often made with Jamón Ibérico, chicken, or salt fish, bound with béchamel sauce, breaded, and fried. Cod that has been dried and salted, also known as salt cod or saltfish, and preserved by drying after salting, is known as bacalao. To make this fish edible again cover it with water and let soak it for approximately three days, changing the water every day. Once soaked the fish becomes tender and delicious, great in pasta, salads, and croquettes.
I made my croquettes gluten-free. Use all-purpose flour and regular panko if you don't need them to be gluten-free.
Yield: 24x20-gram croquettes
Preparation time: 3 days for the cod; 2 hours for the croquettes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Salt Cod Brandade
1 lb salt cod
4 cups whole milk
4 cloves fresh garlic
1½ cups pure olive oil
2 cups gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup gluten-free flour
Piquillo Pepper Puree
¼ cup white onion
2 tbsp butter
1 cup canned roasted piquillo peppers
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
For the brandade
Put the salt cod into a bowl or container, cover it with cold water, and refrigerate.
Replace the water with fresh water every day, after three days drain the water and place the cod into a pot.
Add the whole garlic cloves and cover the cod with the milk.
Simmer this on medium-low heat until the fish is tender, 10–15 minutes.
While the fish is simmering, heat the olive oil to 120°F. If the oil is too hot the brandade could separate.
Once the fish has cooked, take it out of the milk, reserving one cup.
Put the cod and garlic into a food processor and puree.
Slowly start adding the milk a quarter cup at a time, alternating with additions of the oil.
The result should have a light and fluffy texture.
Remove the brandade from the food processor onto a baking tray to cool for at least an hour or overnight.
Weight out twenty-gram pieces of the cold brandade.
Place the pieces in the freezer for 10 minutes, this will make them easier to form as the mixture is quite soft.
Set up a breading station with three containers, one with beaten egg, one with gluten-free flour, and one with panko crumbs.
Put each brandade piece into the flour first, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs, then once more in the egg and the breadcrumbs.
Place the croquettes onto a tray and into the refrigerator or freeze them for later.
For the pepper puree
Dice the onion and put it into a saucepot with the butter on medium-high heat.
Sweat the onions until they are soft, stirring often.
Add the piquillo peppers and stir.
Add the salt and white balsamic vinegar, bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.
Place the mix into a blender and puree it until smooth.
To finish the croquettes
Preheat a deep fryer to 365°F
If you froze the croquettes, pull them from the freezer 30 minutes before you fry them.
Prepare a slotted spoon and a tray with a paper towel for the fried croquettes.
When the oil is to temperature, lower the croquettes into the fryer and cook until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oil and onto the tray.
Serve them with the piquillo pepper puree and enjoy!