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Recipe for authentic Valencian paella

Recipe for paella Valenciana, the authentic one.

 

Dear friends
Since one of your favourite dishes is paella and particularly the Chicken and vegetable paella that we make in Cucharea, I wanted to write a post about this dish of Valencian origin that has become popular all over the world.
I hope you like it.

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Cucharea chicken and vegetable paella

History of Paella

For those who do not know it, paella is a stew of Valencian origin made with chicken and rabbit meat, vegetables such as garrofó – a kind of lima, or butter bean – green beans and of course, rice.
It can also be cooked with fish and seafood as in our Senyoret paella (clean finger seafood paella).

 

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Cucharea Senoyret paella
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Cucharea Senyoret paella
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Cucharea Senyoret paella

Or with only vegetables as Cucharea’s Vegan paella.

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Cucharea Vegan Paella

 

Origin of Paella

The origin of this dish is not entirely clear.

There are differing theories, but the one that seems most plausible is that it originated in the Albufera of Valencia. The Albufera is a lagoon of brackish water located near to the Mediterranean Sea in the Valencia region.

The characteristics of the terrain and the climate make the Albufera of Valencia an ideal place for the cultivation of rice.
Although in times of the Roman empire the rice was already cultivated by these lands, it was not until the arrival of the Muslim people and Berbers, that orchards and intensive plantations were created.

The Muslims not only brought new agricultural techniques that popularized the consumption of rice, they also used cooking utensils different from those used by native people thus far. Among some of these utensils was one called a baqiya, a wide and metallic shape, perfect for cooking rice in.
Before Muslims arrived, rice had been cooked in high clay utensils resulting in a kind of rice soup, but with the new utensil (baquiya), the rice was less soupy with a creamy texture that became very popular.

It was a gastronomic revolution comparable to the introduction of vacuum cooking in contemporary days.

However, there are other theories that the pan in which the paella is cooked has its origins in Italy. The actual paella pan could be an improvement of the Italian pan known as padella.


Over the years, the ancient paella pan became wider and flatter, facilitating the evaporation of the broth until the dry paella that is so successful today is obtained.

By the way, the name of the pan is Paella, and gives its name to the culinary preparation.

Yes, yes, all that is very interesting, but what is the recipe for the authentic paella?

In 2012 the Ministry of Agriculture of the Valencian region gave its approval to establish a standardised recipe for the Valencian paella, which is composed only and exclusively of the following ingredients:
Oil, chicken, rabbit, ‘ferraura’, ‘garrofó’, tomato, water, salt, saffron and rice.
In my humble opinion I think it is a good idea to preserve a recipe but it is impossible to poner puertas al campo – put doors on a field – that is, to prevent its natural, inevitable evolution.
The term paella, nowadays and by extension, is used to describe a method of cooking rice in a certain utensil and with a certain technique.
If it is true that the Valencian paella, also called paella de carne, is made with the ingredients referred to above, there are different variations depending on the place where it is cooked, they can use snails, garlic, rosemary or duck among other ingredients.

In addition we find that within the Valencian Community there are five kinds of authentic paella, depending on the area.

The meat paella, or ‘Valenciana’ paella

This is the most popular. Made with green beans, garrofó – a kind of butter bean-  chicken and rabbit meat. It is generally cooked throughout the Valencian territory.

paella valenciana
paella valenciana de carne

The seafood paella.

Made with rock fish, cuttlefish and Mediterranean seafood. Typical in coastal areas.

Sea food paella with wildleek,
Seafood paella

The Winter or black paella.

This is the same as the meat paella but seasonal Winter products such as beans and artichokes are added.

paella de invierno con alcachofas
Paella valenciana de invierno

The paella of bull’s liver

This is very typical in the area of the Valencian countryside. Its main peculiarity is that it is made with beef tenderloin, liver, chickpeas and curly lettuce.

paella de higado de toro
paella de hígado de toro

The cod paella

This paella is very typical during the Lenten season. Since the Catholic tradition prohibits eating meat during Lent, it consists of cod and cauliflower.

paella de coliflor y bacalao
paella de bacalao y coliflor

As you can see, there is not one single recipe for paella in the Valencian region, but since 2012 there is a unique recipe recognised by the Valencian government as an authentic Valencian paella recipe.
I will leave the Valencian paella recipe at the end of the post.

But then, can I not cook authentic paella without these ingredients?

It depends on what we understand by authentic paella.

The paella is a dish of Valencian origin. Therefore, it has traditionally been made with local products. But this preparation has become known worldwide and has crossed borders, so we find paella with a host of different ingredients that have never been used in Valencian recipes.
For me, a paella is a rice preparation plus other ingredients, which can be meat, fish, seafood, vegetables or a combination of these.
What makes a paella a paella is not what ingredients are used but the kitchen technique that is applied to cook a certain round grain rice, with a wide and low frying pan, resulting in a loose rice, dry and at its cooking point.

So, in certain countries such as the UK, we find what some call aberrations, paella with chorizo sausage and prawns, for example. It is obvious that this preparation is far from being a Paella Valenciana, but, it is a paella after all; British Paella if you prefer, but if it is well cooked, using the correct technique, with round rice and tasty, hell, is it not a paella?

Conclusion

In the title of the post I promised to give you the recipe of the authentic Valencian paella and so I will. But as you have seen, there is not a single recipe but 5, each with a different origin within the same Valencian community.

Also, I know that more than one person who reads this post will not agree with me that there can be many types of paella besides the Valenciana.

But given the international character it has acquired, nowadays, the name ‘paella’ is intended to describe a type of culinary technique rather than defining its ingredients.

However, a Valencian Paella must respect the ingredients that have traditionally been used in The Autonomous Community of Valencia.

SONY DSC
Vegetables from Valencia, bajoqueta, garrofó y baqueta. FOTO: Concurso Paellas Sueca 2013

Many thanks for reading.

Recipe for Paella Valenciana with meat.

You will need a pan paella of 46 cm in diameter.

A large gas burner, Amazon sells some paelleros kits. You can also make a fire and use a trivet if you feel brave enough.

For 4 people

Extra virgin Olive oil: 110 ml

Special round grain rice for paella: 400 g

Artichoke*: 100 g

Snails*: 8 units

Rabbit: 400 g

Chicken: 600 g

Saffron: 0.5 g

Fresh Garrofón without pod: 100 g

Tabella or Flat Green Bean: 100 g

Smoked sweet paprika from Vera*: 2 g

Rosemary*: 2 stems

Salt: 25 g

Tomato: 150 g

Water: 1.60 l + 1.80 l

* Optional

I do not know where you can get garrofó or tabella in England, if you know, please tell us where.

Method

Fry the meat and vegetables.

Prepare all the ingredients according to the amounts indicated in the recipe. Also prepare the water.

Grate the tomato, cut the meat into small pieces, cut the green beans, peel and chop the artichokes.

Pour the oil into the paella, light the fire and then add all the meat.

Add part of the salt to the meat and fry it slowly for 10 minutes until it is uniformly browned.

Then remove the meat to the edges of the pan.

Add to the center of the pan the green beans, the garrofó, the tabella and the artichoke.

Sauté the vegetables, frying lightly for 3 minutes.

Remove the vegetables to the edges and add the grated tomato with the paprika and a little salt and fry for 5 minutes in the centre of the paella.

friendo los ingredientes de la paella
Frying the ingredients

Boil the meat and vegetables

Pour in the first amount of water (1,60 l), add the snails and increase the heat to maximum to bring up to the boil.

When it starts to boil, make a visual note of the water level in the paella (You can use the rasera as a sort of rule …).

This step is very important, because it is the reference you need to know later, to see the exact moment when you have to add the rice.

Add then the second amount of water (1.80 l.) and the rest of the salt.

When it vigorously boils, regulate the fire to boil evenly and add the rosemary.

Remove the rosemary within 3 minutes of adding it.

Add the saffron approximately 5 minutes before pouring the rice in.

paella hirviendo

Cook the rice

When the water reduces back to the reference point you had taken after adding the first amount of water, it is time to pour in the rice.

Distribute the rice evenly over the paella.

Let it boil on a high heat for 8 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for a further 8 minutes.

The target is that the paella is ‘dry’ when this time is reached. Neither before nor after.

During the first 12 minutes, shake the paella by holding it by the handles every 4 minutes, to ensure that the rice is evenly distributed.

When the exact cooking time indicated in the recipe has been completed,

turn off the burner and let the paella stand for 8 or 10 minutes.

paella de carne terminada

Enjoy your Valencian paella or click over to the shop and try one of Cucharea’s paella.

www.cucharea.com

 

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Cucharea’s lasagne

lasaña emplatada

 

Hello friends of Cucharea,

Today I want to share with you our recipe for Lasagne, already available to order from Cucharea.

This well-known Italian dish has become part of Spanish cooking, as, back in the day, did croquettes, which have their origin in France. Both are now, together with paella and the potato omelette tortilla, one of the standards of Spanish cuisine.

Lasagne is basically a combination of various recipes and cooking techniques. It isn’t that difficult to make, but you need plenty of time and you are going to use more than a few pots.

Let’s go. The ingredient list is at the end of the post.

The Bolognese

First of all let’s cook the bolognese. For this we need, olive oil, garlic, onion, bay leaf, minced meat, (half pork and half veal or beef mince), ripe tomatoes, carrot, a little red wine (optional), salt, black pepper and a little oregano.

Finely chop and fry the garlic, onion and carrot together with the bay leaf. When they have softened, add the minced meat and sauté.

 

Add the red wine and let the alcohol evaporate.

Now we add the peeled and chopped tomato, if you can remove the seeds, more the better.

Let the bolognese cook for 45 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally,  then add salt and pepper to taste and add a little oregano.

 

The Bechamel

For a litre of milk we need 80 grams of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), 80 grams of flour and some salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bechamel is usually made with butter but I always replace it with EVOO since it is healthier and is a big part of my identity in the kitchen.

We make a Roux, that is, lightly sauté the flour in the oil and then add the milk little by little and whisking constantly. It is important to add warm milk to avoid lumps.

The bechamel sauce must be cooked for at least a half hour to make it perfect, we enhance it with salt and pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg.

 

The Pasta

Obviously, you must use lasagne pasta, we are going to cook it al dente in salted water.

The way to cook this pasta is to throw the sheets one by one into boiling water in a pot or wide casserole, with enough space for them to boil happily and avoid sticking to each other.

About 10 or 11 minutes is enough, so remove the pasta and chill it in ice water to stop the cooking immediately and ensure the lasagne sheets remain separated.

When the pasta is cold, remove the sheets and let them dry on a clean cloth.

 

The assembly

In an oiled baking dish, put a layer of pasta, then a layer of bolognese, a layer of bechamel, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, ricotta or mozzarella – according to your preference – and repeat the process twice more.

 

 

Finish with a final layer of bechamel and grated cheese.

 

Into the oven

So now you your lasagne is ready to bake.

Sett the oven to 180 degrees C and bake for 35 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, you can uncork a bottle of wine to let it breathe and begin washing the mountain of pots, pans, dishes and utensils…. or, you can order your lasagne from Cucharea and concentrate only on baking it for 35 minutes at 180 degrees while you have a snack and a drink with the person you love the most.

Quantities for 4 people

Bolognese:

  • 1 medium clove of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 600 grams of mixed minced meat
  • 100 grams of tomato
  • 1/4 glass of red wine
  • Salt, pepper and oregano

Bechamel:

  • 80 grams EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 80 grams plain flour
  • 1 litre milk
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

24 sheets of lasagne Pasta, Parmesan cheese and any other grated cheese you fancy.

You can see all the Cucharea;’s dishes here.

Next week I plan to prepare a vegan vegetable soup. What do you think, would you like to try it?

Don’t be shy, leave a comment below!

¡Gracias!

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Lasaña de Cucharea

lasaña emplatada

English version here

Hola amigas y amigos de Cucharea;

Hoy quiero compartir con vosotros la receta de la Lasaña, ya disponible en Cucharea.

Este conocido plato de la gastronomía Italiana a pasado a formar parte del recetario español, como en su día lo hicieron las croquetas, las cuales tienen su origen en Francia, y hoy en día son junto con la paella y la tortilla de patatas uno de los estandartes de la cocina española.

La lasaña es básicamente una combinación de varias recetas y técnicas de cocina. En realidad no es que sea muy difícil hacerla pero necesitas de tiempo y vas a ensuciar unos cuantos cacharros.

Vamos a ello. Os dejo las cantidades al final del post.

 

La Boloñesa

En primer lugar vamos a cocinar una boloñesa. Pare ello necesitaremos, Aceite de oliva, ajo, cebolla, laurel, carne picada, (mitad cerdo y mitad ternera), tomates maduros, zanahoria, un poco de vino tinto (opcional), sal, pimienta negra y un poco de orégano.

Picamos y freímos el ajo, la cebolla y la zanahoria junto con el laurel. Cuando estén pochados añadimos la carne picada y sofreímos.

Regamos con el vino tinto y dejamos que se evapore el alcohol.

Ahora ponemos el tomate pelado y troceado, si puedes quitarle las pepitas mejor que mejor.

Dejamos cociendo la boloñesa unos 45 minutos a fuego lento, removiendo de vez en cuando, rectificamos de sal y pimienta y añadimos un poco de orégano.

 

La Bechamel

Para un litro de leche necesitamos 80 gramos de Aceite de Oliva Virgen Extra (AOVE) y 80 de harina, sal, pimienta y nuez moscada. La bechamel se suele hacer con mantequilla pero yo siempre que puedo la sustituyo por AOVE ya que es más saludable y es un signo de identidad de mi cocina.

Hacemos un Roux, osea, sofreimos ligeramente la harina en el aceite y después añadimos la leche poco a poco sin parar de mover con una barilla. Es importante añadir la leche caliente para evitar que nos salgan grumos.

La bechamel debemos cocerla una media hora como mínimo para que nos quede perfecta, la rectificamos de sal y pimienta y añadimos un poco de nuez moscada recién rallada.

 

La Pasta

Necesitamos pasta de Lasaña, la vamos a cocer al dente en agua con sal.

La forma de cocer esta pasta es echando una a una las láminas al agua hirviendo en una olla o rondón bien ancho, con espacio suficiente para que hiervan alegremente y evitar que se peguen entre ellas.

Unos 10 u 11 minutos es suficiente, saca la pasta y enfríala en agua con hielo para cortar la ebullición y que las hojas de lasaña queden sueltas.

Cuando la pasta esté fría sácala y sécala sobre un paño limpio.

 

El Montaje

En una fuente para horno untada previamente con aceite, pon una capa de pasta, otra capa de boloñesa y otra de bechamel, espolvorea con queso parmesano, ricotta o mozarella, según tu gusto, y repite el proceso dos veces más.

Termina con una última capa de bechamel y queso para gratinar.

 

Al horno

Bueno, ya tienes tu lasaña lista para hornear.

Pon el horno a 180 grados y hornea durante 35 minutos más o menos.

Mientras tanto puedes descorchar una botella de vino para que se oxigene y lavar todos los cacharros o también puedes encargar tu lasaña en Cucharea y concentrarte sólo en hornearla durante 35 minutos a 180 grados mientras te tomas un aperitivo con la persona que más quieres.

 

Cantidades para 4 personas

Boloñesa:

  • 1 diente de ajo mediano
  • 1 cebolla mediana
  • 1 zanahoria mediana
  • 2 hojas de laurel
  • 600 gramos de carne picada mixta
  • 100 gramos de tomate
  • 1/4 de vaso de vino tinto
  • Sal, pimienta y orégano

Bechamel:

  • 80 gramos de AOVE
  • 80 gramos de harina normal
  • 1 litro de leche fresca
  • Sal, pimienta y nuez moscada al gusto

24 hojas de Pasta de Lasaña, queso parmesano y queso de gratinar.

Puedes ver todos los platos de Cucharea en este enlace.

La semana que viene tengo pensado preparar una crema vegana de verduras. Tu que opinas, ¿te gustaría probarla?

No te cortes, puedes dejar un comentario aquí debajo.

¡Gracias!

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Recipe – ‘The Rags of Úbeda’

andrajos 2

Hello friends of Cucharea

Today I want to share with you a perfect recipe for cold days, of which here in England there are many.

It’s called Andrajos de Úbeda – ‘cloth rags’ of Úbeda.

For those who don’t know it, Úbeda is a beautiful city in the heart of Jaén, Andalusia. It is considered a world heritage site by UNESCO thanks to its history and Renaissance architecture.

It is the birthplace of some of the best olive oil in the world, and has some of the greatest artists such as Joaquín Sabina, internationally known singer-songwriter, Paco Tito, distinguished potter and Marcelo Góngora, the magnificent painter and sculptor, amongst many others.

Like all the towns and cities of Spain, Úbeda also has its own distinctive gastronomy.

One of the most representative dishes of this area is Los Andrajos (The ‘rags’); an ancient stew recipe based on vegetables and meat or fish, fresh pasta and a touch of mint.

Traditionally, in the areas of ​​Albacete, Granada, Almería and Jaén, this stew was made with whatever was at hand. Either hare, rabbit or salted cod can be the main ingredients of this dish, accompanied by seasonal vegetables such as asparagus, beans, or artichokes.

From the middle of the last century, when families began to enjoy the freedom afforded by refrigerators and freezers in their homes, new foods became popular in the interior areas of Spain, such as clams, squids and prawns, which until then were only within the reach of the people who lived in coastal areas.

In this way, what had originally been a dish made exclusively with products from the field or salted cod, was diversified to the point that in Úbeda it became popular to cook them in the following way.

Here I have a link to the kitchen channel where the blogger Conxy Jiménez shows us how it is made. My recipe is a little different since I like to use green asparagus instead of clams, but it’s essentially the same. In short, a comforting dish with a robust flavour for the chilliest of days.

How about you? Are you familiar with the gastronomy of Úbeda? Would you like to try this dish?

 

 

 

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Receta de Andrajos de Úbeda

andrajos 2

English version here

Hola amigas y amigos de Cucharea

Hoy quiero compartir con vosotros una receta perfecta para los días de frío, que aquí en Inglaterra son muchos.

Se trata de los Andrajos de Úbeda.

Para el que no la conozca Úbeda es una ciudad preciosa en el corazón de Jaén, Andalucía. Está considerada patrimonio de la humanidad por la UNESCO gracias a su historia y su arquitectura renacentista.

Además es cuna de uno de los mejores aceite de oliva del mundo, y ha dado grandes artistas como Joaquín Sabina, cantautor conocido internacionalmente, Paco Tito, insigne alfarero o el magnífico pintor y escultor Marcelo Góngora entre otros muchos más.

Cómo todos los pueblos y ciudades de España, Úbeda también tiene su forma de entender la gastronomía.

Uno de los platos más representativos de su recetario son Los Andrajos. Un guiso centenario a base de verdura, carne o pescado, pasta fresca y un toque de hierbabuena.

Tradicionalmente, en la zona de Albacete, Granada, Almería y Jaén, este guiso se ha elaborado con lo que se tenía a mano. Liebre, conejo o bacalao en salazón pueden ser los ingredientes principales de este plato, acompañados por verduras de temporada como espárragos, habas, o alcachofas.

A partir de mediados del siglo pasado, cuando las familias empezaron a disfrutar de frigoríficos y congeladores en las casas, nuevos productos se popularizaron en las zonas del interior de España, como las almejas, los calamares y las gambas, que hasta ese momento solo estaban al alcance de las gentes que vivían en zonas costeras.

De ese modo, lo que había sido un plato elaborado exclusivamente con productos del campo o bacalao en salazón, se diversificó hasta el punto de que en Úbeda se hizo popular cocinarlos de la siguiente manera.

Aquí os dejo un link de canal cocina donde la blogera Conxy Jiménez nos muestra como se hacen.

Mi receta es un poco diferente ya que a mi me gusta ponerle espárragos verdes en vez de almejas, pero prácticamente es igual.

En definitiva, un plato reconfortante con un sabor contudente para los días de frío.

Y tú, ¿Conoces la gastronomía de Úbeda?

¿Te gustaría probarlos?

 

 

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How to fry Cucharea’s croquettes

Hello croquette lovers

First of all, I would like to thank all of you who have supported us in our new Spanish home cooking project for Brighton and the surrounding areas.

It is amazing how many fans there are of our dishes and especially our homemade croquettes.

Well, here I go.

Some of you have sent me messages asking what the best way is to fry croquettes because when you have previously cooked them at home, they have burst when you fried them.

So I’m going to give you a couple of tips so that you can have a perfect fry.

 

croquetas fritas cuchareaVarious croquettes

Why do croquettes burst when they are fried?

There are several reasons why this may happen.

The first may be that the mixture has been under-cooked.

Making homemade croquettes is a slow process where you have to cook the mixture for quite a while. I cook the mixture for around two hours – without stopping – with a whisk so it doesn’t catch. Believe me, I have a forearm like Popeye from whisking so much.

The second reason may be that you have used too little flour when making the roux. I use between 90 and 120 grams of flour per litre of milk, it depends on the recipe.

That is the minimum that you should use; if you use less flour, the dough will be too liquid and explode when frying.

Another reason may be that they are not well breaded. If the bread crumbs do not completely cover the croquette, they will burst. Too thick, of course, and they are just disappointing.

But hey, you save all this drama with Cucharea’s homemade croquettes.

How to fry croquettes

Cucharea’s croquettes come frozen. That is why I advise you to take them out of the freezer one hour before before frying so they do not remain cold in the centre after frying.

 

croquetas antes de freir

If you can not wait an hour, you can fry them directly from frozen and then put them in the oven at 160 degrees for 3 minutes or so.

What to fry them in?

Ideally, use a deep fat fryer filled with clean oil. I use virgin olive oil, but you can use any oil – as long as it is not dirty or you have fried fish or peppers or something that strongly flavours the oil.

If you do not have a fryer, you can use a saucepan or milk pan. A saucepan is better than a milk pan because it straighter, higher sides, since the croquettes must be completely covered by the oil.

cazo con aceite para freir croquetas

Temperature

This is the most important detail. If you fry the croquettes below 180 degrees Celsius they will burst.

Ideally, heat the oil to 190C degrees, take a few croquettes and fry until they are golden brown. I say 190C because when you add the croquettes the temperature will go down a little bit. Be careful with this. Do not put too many in at once because the oil temperature will drop too much and then they will burst.

termometro a 190 grados

aceite a 190 grados friendo croquetas

Frying time

It depends on how golden you want them. About two minutes is fine.

Keep in mind that when the bechamel begins to heat inside the croquette it will expand and may make small cracks in the breadcrumbs. This is normal since the bechamel of our croquettes is soft and the layer of bread crumbs is not very thick so they have a delicious texture.

When this happens you can hear the croquettes begin to “sing”. That’s to say that the sound of frying changes; it’s time to take them out before they burst with the heat.

Drain the oil from the croquettes

Once fried, let them rest in a sieve so that the excess oil can drain. Another way is to put them on absorbent kitchen paper and then move on to another sheet of clean absorbent paper.

I like the first method better because with the paper the croquettes tend to soften.

escurriendo el aceite de las croquetas en un colador

 

Well, that’s it. Frying croquettes is not rocket science but has its tricks.

The Tips

  • Thaw at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Heat the oil to 190C and then fry at 180 degrees for a couple of minutes without overloading the fryer with croquettes.
  • remove and drain the excess oil.
  • Do not eat them all and leave some for others.

 

You have four flavours to choose from right here.

Chorizo, roast chicken and ham, prawns, and mushroom with Cheddar cheese.

What flavour would you like us to prepare for you? Let us know!

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Cómo freir las croquetas de Cucharea.

(English version here)

Hola croqueteros y croqueteras.

En primer lugar quería daros las gracias a todos los que habéis confiado en este nuevo proyecto de cocina casera española en Brighton y alrededores.

Es increíble la cantidad de fans que tienen los platos de cuchara y en especial las croquetas caseras.

Bueno, a lo que iba.

Algunos de vosotros me habéis mandado mensajes preguntando cual es la mejor manera de freir croquetas y que alguna vez las habéis hecho en casa y se os han reventado al freírlas. Así que voy a daros un par de “tips” para que os salga una fritura perfecta.

croquetas fritas cucharea
Croquetas variadas Cucharea

 

 

¿Por qué se me revientan las croquetas al freírlas?

Hay varios motivos por lo que esto puede suceder.

El primero puede ser una falta de cocción de la masa.

Hacer croquetas caseras es un proceso lento donde tienes que cocer la masa durante bastante rato. Yo las tengo cociendo alrededor de dos horas, sin parar de mover con una barilla para que no se agarren. Creedme, tengo el antebrazo como Popeye de tanto darle a la barilla.

El segundo motivo puede ser que os hayáis quedado cortos de harina al hacer el Roux. Yo les pongo entre 90 y 120 gramos de harina por litro de leche, depende de la receta.

Es lo mínimo que debéis ponerle, si le ponéis menos harina la masa se quedará demasiado líquida y explotaran al freírlas.

Otro motivo puede ser que no estén bien empanadas. Si el pan rallado no cubre completamente la croqueta se os van a reventar.

Pero bueno, todo este lío os lo ahorráis con las croquetas caseras de Cucharea.

 

 Cómo freir las croquetas.

Las croquetas de Cucharea vienen congeladas. Es por éso que antes de freírlas os aconsejo que las saquéis del congelador una hora antes para que no se queden frías en el centro después de freírlas.

croquetas antes de freir

Si no podéis esperar una hora podéis freírlas directamente congeladas y después ponerlas en el horno a 160 grados durante 3 minutos más o menos.

El recipiente

Lo ideal es usar una freidora con aceite limpio. Yo uso aceite de oliva virgen, pero podéis usar cualquier aceite siempre que no esté sucio o hayáis frito en el pescado o pimientos o alguna cosa que aporte sabor al aceite.

Si no tenéis una freidora a mano podéis usar un cazo salsero o de los que sirven para calentar la leche. El cazo es mejor que una sartén porque es más recogido y más alto, ya que para freir las croquetas estas deben estar completamente cubiertas de aceite.

cazo con aceite para freir croquetas

La temperatura

Esto es lo más importante. Si freís las croquetas por debajo de 180 grados centígrados  se os van a reventar.

Lo ideal es poner el aceite a 190 grados, echar unas cuantas croquetas y freírlas hasta que estén doradas. Digo 190 porque cuando echas las croquetas la temperatura va a bajar un poquito. Ojo con esto. No pongáis demasiadas de una vez porque la temperatura del aceite bajará demasiado y entonces se reventarán.

 

Tiempo de fritura

Pues depende de lo doradas que las quieras. Alrededor de dos minutos está bien.

Ten en cuenta que cuando la bechamel empieza a calentarse dentro de la croqueta esta tiende a expandirse y puede que haga pequeñas grietas en la cobertura de pan rallado. Esto es normal ya que la bechamel  de nuestras croquetas es suave y la capa de pan rallado no es muy gruesa para que tengan una textura deliciosa.

Cuando esto ocurre podréis oir cómo las croquetas empiezan a “cantar”. Digamos que el sonido de la fritura cambia, es el momento de sacarlas antes de que revienten por el calor.

Escurrir el aceite de las croquetas

Una vez fritas déjalas reposar sobre un colador para que pierdan el aceite sobrante. Otra manera es ponerlas sobre papel absorbente de cocina y luego pasarlas sobre otro papel absorbente limpio.

A mi me gusta más el primer método ya que con el papel las croquetas tienden a reblandecerse.

escurriendo el aceite de las croquetas en un colador

Bueno, y eso es todo. Freir croquetas no es que sea “rocket science” pero tiene sus truquitos.

 

Los Tips

  • Descongelar fuera del frigorífico durante 1 hora.
  • Freir a 180 grados durante un par de minutos sin sobrecargar de croquetas la freidora.
  • sacar y escurrir el aceite sobrante.
  • No te las comas todas y deja alguna para los demás.

Tienes cuatro sabores a tu disposición justo aquí.

De chorizo, de pollo asado y jamón, de gambas y langostinos; y de champiñones y queso Cheddar.

¿Que sabor te gustaría que preparáramos para ti?