Portuguese Meat Croquettes

IMG_3998In Portugal we have a vast range of fried snacks that you will find in every supermarket or coffee shop (rissóis, croquettes, fish cakes).

When I moved to London, our first guest was a Portuguese old friend that brought us an assortment of these delicious snacks from a Portuguese shop near his place in London. I didn’t realise I missed it so much…

After that, I decided to try to cook some by myself. Today’s recipe is for Portuguese Croquettes. I cooked them with pork but they typically included beef too.

 

Portuguese Meat Croquettes (20 to 30 units)   

  • 350 g of pork minced meat
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 60 g of chorizo
  • 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 60 g of butter
  • 200 ml of milk
  • 1 small onion
  • 80 g of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg and dry thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil
  1. In a food processor, chop the garlic and the chorizo. Cook it with two tbsp of butter in a non-stick frying pan.IMG_3938
  2. When the mixture has cooked for 1-2 minutes add the meat. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Stir occasionally and let it cook until the meat is duly fried.
  3. Take out of the fire and chop this mixture in the food processor. Add the chopped parsley and let it rest.IMG_3942
  4. Chop the onion thinly. In a pan, cook the onion with the remaining butter in low fire.
  5. When the onion is golden and soft add the flour and mix well. Slowly add the milk, while steering, making sure that the flour dissolves and creating a thick sauce. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.
  6. Add the meat and mix well until the mixture separates easily from the pan.
  7. Turn the fire off and let it rest until the mixture is at room temperature.
  8. Using approximately one tbsp of dough, shape the dough into one small cylindrical form. Place on the croquette on a large tray or plate previously sprinkled with flour. Repeat until you finish the dough. Depending on the size of your croquettes you should get between 20 and 30 units.IMG_3953
  9. Get two small bowls and mix the eggs in one and place a good quantity of bread crumbs in the other. One by one, cover the croquettes first with eggs and after with bread crumbs, by dipping them first in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs.IMG_3989
  10. Fry them in hot vegetable oil or freeze them before frying for future use. You will be able to fry them directly from the freezer.
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Black Spaghetti

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And the pasta spree continues!

After two weeks out, my dissertation is SO late… And my meeting is just tomorrow… So, I decided to cook something fast. Went with a black spaghetti with prawns and tomatoes. It was really tasty and easy to cook!

 

 

Black Spaghetti with Prawns and Tomatoes (serves 4)

  • 350 g of black spaghetti
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 350 g of large king prawns (you can use smaller shrimps)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh oregano (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Chop the garlic cloves into thin slices and the parsley into thin pieces. Save some parsley to decorate.
  2. Open the chilli gently by running a sharp knife on one side and remove the seeds. Cut the chilli in thin slices. You can adjust the amount of chilli used depending on your taste for spicy food. Don’t forget to wash your hands well after touching/cutting the chilli and avoid touching your mouth or eyes before doing so.IMG_4794
  3. In a frying pan heat 4 tbsp of olive oil with the garlic, the shopped parsley and the chilli. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook in low fire until the garlic starts to get golden. IMG_4815
  4. Add the prawns and continue to cook in low fire. Stir occasionally and let it cook for 10 minutes. After this time add the tomatoes cut in halves and cook for an additional period of 5 minutes.IMG_4897
  5. Meanwhile, in a pan boil some salted water with a spoon of olive oil. I added a bit of fresh oregano to the water but you can do it without it. When the water is boiling add the black spaghetti and cook as mentioned in the packet (usually 8-10 minutes). IMG_4845
  6. Keep stirring the prawns mixture and, in case the sauce start drying, add some of the water from the pasta. Overall, I added around 20 tbsp of water.
  7. When the pasta is boiled, but still al dente, drain it and mix it with the prawns and tomatoes mixture in the frying pan.IMG_4910
  8. Turn the heat off and serve immediately by distributing it evenly through the four plates in which it will be served. Decorate with the saved parsley.IMG_4934