First let me clarify, no mallets or wickets were involved in the making of this dish :) Croquetas are actually small fritters rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. In French/English they are also called croquettes, and can be made of just about any mixture of ingredients. This batch was made of a rice and vegetable mixture (recipe below).
Yesterday was our annual Thanksgiving potluck at work. I wanted to make an Argentinian dish that would be easy to transport and re-warm for the meal. So I made a big batch of croquetas de arroz. Croquetas can be made of many different ingredients like potatoes, cabbage, zucchini or other vegetables, often with ham or chicken. A few of the recipes I saw incorporated bread crumbs into the mixture, but most preferred to roll the balls of filling in the breadcrumbs before frying, so I used that method. After reading through about 10 recipes online, I threw together the following ingredients to make what I hope are semi-authentic croquettes. They seemed to be a hit at the potluck, at least they disappeared!
Croquetas de arroz
8 c. cooked long-grain rice, cooled
3 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 c. minced parsley
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. celery seeds
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 c. bread crumbs
Saute the shallots, garlic, onion and carrots for a few minutes in a skillet over medium-high heat, until softened. Mix together these veggies with all other ingredients except bread crumbs.
Form balls or patties with about 2 Tbsp of filling at a time. The filling is sticky, so you’ll have to stop every once in a while and scrape it off your hands in order to keep forming the croquettes. Roll them to cover in bread crumbs and let them sit for at least 30 minutes before frying. I actually refrigerated them overnight at this point and fried them the next day.
Fry the patties in canola or other vegetable oil until nicely browned on both sides. Deep frying would probably work best for perfectly spherical croquettes, but I was pan-frying, so I made mine into more of a patty shape. They were fried up in small batches, keeping the oil clean so that the blackened bread crumbs that started to accumulate wouldn’t affect the taste of the last batches.
Drain them on paper towels and enjoy hot or at room temperature. They’d be great with a remoulade or ranch dip or marinara sauce, depending on the filling. This recipe made enough croquetas to fill a 9×13 pan. One recipe that I saw suggested placing a cube of fresh mozzarella in the middle of each croqueta, I’m sure that would be delicious and I might just have to try it next time!