Spinach and Artichoke Croquette
A croquette is a moist filling that is breaded and then fried. Potatoes, seafood and vegetables are popular varieties. I wanted to make a healthy version today, so I stuffed mine with artichokes and spinach. I added some mozzarella as well because I love it when the croquettes are hot and stringy on the inside.
The name "croquette" is from the French verb croquer which means "to bite with a crisp crunch". You can serve it as an appetizer (they are kid-friendly) but you can also stuff a sandwich with several croquettes for added texture and consistency. I used an herb ciabatta bread. I'll post the recipes of the spreads I used and the rest of the elements for the sandwich tomorrow.
Yields: 62 cups spinach, packed
4 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 Yukon potato , peeled, boiled, diced (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 pinches red chili flakes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
4 ounces Perlini fresh mozarella cheese (pearl-sized bites), drained
1 fresh slice of bread, crust removed
1/2 cup whole milk, (+2 tablespoons for the fresh slice of bread)
1-1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon crème fraîche
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika powder
Cut the fresh bread into small pieces and soak them in 2 tablespoons of milk. Set aside.
Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts into small chunks. Set aside.
In a medium-sized pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slightly sauté the spinach until all the leaves are wilted. Season with a little sea salt then transfer to a platter. Add the artichoke pieces to the pan. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add the chili flakes. Cook until each side is brown (for about 3-4 minutes). Add the potatoes, soaked bread with milk, crème fraîche and turmeric powder. Extend the cooking time to about 3-4 minutes until all the ingredients blend together. Remove from the heat. Add the spinach and pink peppercorns. Let the mixture cool.
Using food service disposable gloves, mash the artichoke/spinach potato mixture. Add the Perlini mozzarella balls. Grease the disposable gloves with oil, then form about 2-inch cylindrical patties. Flatten them into 1/2-inch thick oblong disks using your palms.
In a bowl, dissolve the nutritional yeast (or cornstarch) in 1/2 cup of milk.
In another bowl, combine the mustard powder, paprika powder, parmesan and bread crumbs.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the rest of the oil until hot. Lower the heat to medium-high. Dip each piece in the liquid, then coat with the bread crumb mixture and finally place the patties in the skillet. Brown each side of the croquettes. Transfer the golden croquettes onto a large platter lined with paper towels. Serve immediately.
For the filling, you can substitute with any other ingredients such as corn, sun dried tomatoes, chopped portobello mushrooms or peas.
You can find turmeric powder in any Indian store. I use it as a natural food coloring for a vibrant color for the filling.
This recipe was inspired by Lulu's grandma's cutlets (Indian potato latkes). The potatoes, crème fraîche, and moist bread act as a binder to help keep the croquettes together. No egg is necessary, which is good for me as I'm feeding a lot of vegetarians, including one who's allergic to eggs.
You can find nutritional yeast in any specialty store like Whole Foods, but if you don't have any, you can replace it with either cornstarchor regular all-purpose flour.
I found perlini mozarella cheese at my local market. If you don't have any, just cut the mozzarella into pearl-sized pieces.
If you're interested in making your own crème fraîche, it's very easy.
I usually make my own bread crumbs. I usually use a day-old baguette that I slice then pulverize through a mini-food processor or I toast regular, store-bought sliced bread.
Parmesan cheese powder is easy to make. Just chop a chunk of parmesan and place the morsels in a mini-food processor to obtain a fine powder.
You can store the remaining croquettes the same way you would with waffles. Just stack them and place little squares of parchment paper in between each croquette. Place all the croquettes in a zip-top bag, and freeze them. You can store them up to 3 months in your freezer. Simply defrost them by baking them at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
The shape depends on what you want to do with the croquettes. I wanted oblong disks that fit perfectly in a sandwich.
Published By: on July 29, 2009.