Half croquette, half tiger. Discover the winning combination of flavours and textures that this simple recipe will bring to your table.
All things true, rather than just being another croquette, this recipe sits somewhere in the middle of a traditional croqueta and the popular tigre (Spanish for tiger). The latter is one of the most extended tapas and consists of a mussel with bechamel sauce which is served breadcrumbed on the mussel shell itself.
However, what makes this croquette special is not only the filling but the super crispy and tasty maize-based crumb, which offers the perfect companion, both in taste and texture, to the creamy mussel-enriched bechamel.
- 500 g Mussels
- 1 unit White Onion
- 1/2 unit Red Pepper
- 250 g Maize kernels
- 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 85 g Unsalted butter
- 85 g Plain flour
- 50 ml Whole milk
- Wash the mussels under the tap. Then heat them in a covered pot for a few minutes until they are open. Disregard the ones that don't open up.
- Strain the cooking juice that the mussels will have released while cooking and reserve it.
- Finely chop the mussels, the onion and the pepper. Poach the onion and the pepper in a saucepan together with some little olive oil. Reserve.
- To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and slowly stir in the sieved flour while stirring continuously for a minute. This is known as roux.
- Stir in as much of the mussels juice as possible, little by little, mixing it thoroughly. Repeat the same step with the milk, stirring constantly. Bring it to the boil until the mixture thickens and the bechamel is done.
- Stir in the onion, the pepper and the mussels and mix it well with the bechamel. Season to taste and keep the mixture in the fridge for a minimum of an hour to cool its temperature down.
- Use your hands to roll bite-sized balls with the mixture. If the mixture is too soft and you find it difficult to make the balls, help yourself with a couple of tablespoons. Then let the balls rest in the fridge for an extra couple of hours, or even better, overnight.
- Crush the maize kernels in a mortar. You can also use a robot to perform this operation although I personally prefer the irregular texture that you achieve when using a mortar.
- Roll the balls on the crushed maize until well coated. Then fry them in a frying pan with plenty of olive oil until golden. Serve immediately.