Double Squid Croquetas

Hola!! 

I hope everyone is doing well and healthy, we are definitely living in crazy times. What do you do to clear your mind? For me, I cook, and it helps a lot! 

I bet some of you have been exploring new recipes since we have had stay home all day. If you haven’t been, you should!! 

Today I am making croquetas (croquettes), one of my favorite go-to appetizers. (Check out all my croqueta recipes; chicken, cod, ham and cheese, and more!) Today I made croquetas filled with squid. And not just squid, I also used the ink of the squid! BOOM! Mind-blowing right? Ok, maybe not mind-blowing but these are very unique and not something you normally come across. If you like seafood, or enjoy squid, you will be pleasantly surprised. These croquetas are so, so good!

You can buy the ink online if you can’t find it locally, that’s what I did. In Spain you would buy it at the seafood store, but in the U.S., I’ve never been able to find it fresh, so the jar will do! Also look for “cuttlefish ink”. You can use it to make other things, pasta, black rice, etc. Get creative!

Lets start making the croquetas! 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 5hrs 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
  • approx. 11 oz (300grams) squid (calamari), chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk, warm 
  • 1 teaspoon squid ink 
  • Olive oil and salt 
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs 
  • Canola oil (frying) 
  1. In a pan, drizzle about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and cook the calamari- it will take about 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate (discard any water that the squid might release). 
  2. Using the same pan, drizzle some olive oil and cook the onion until brownish. Once cooked, transfer to the calamari plate. 
  3. In the same pan, melt the butter, then add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  Whisk constantly until the flour is combined. Add 1 cup of milk and whisk until the sauce thickens. 
  4. Add the squid ink, onion and the squid into the sauce. Mix well until fully incorporated. 
  5. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Once it cools a little bit, cover with some plastic wrap and transfer the mixture to the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight. 
  6. After the dough has rested, prepare the egg mixture. For this, I beat one large egg with 1-2 tablespoons of milk.   Pour the breadcrumbs onto another clean large plate.
  7. Shape the mixture into small croquetas with a small spoon. Dip them into first into the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs.
  8. Time to fry them! It is super fast. It took me about 3 minutes total for each batch of croquettes. Be sure to turn them to evenly cook each side.
  9. Remove the croquetas and let them rest on a paper towel to cool and remove excess oil. Season with salt.

Serve warm and… BON PROFIT!

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Double Squid Croquetas

Hazelnut & Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Hello!

Wow, I can’t believe Christmas is almost here. 3 more weeks to go! Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Every year, I go back to Spain to celebrate the holidays with my family. This year I am also going with my baby girl! Exciting!

As many of you know, I love to bake. But around the holidays, I love to bake even more! Today, I made Hazelnut & Peppermint Chocolate Cookies. These cookies scream holidays! Bake them for someone special on your list or maybe just for yourself. You’re special too!

Ingredients (makes approximately 20 cookies):

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (SPOON the flour directly into the measuring cup from the container-  DO NOT scoop the flour from the container or bag directly with the measuring cup)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (preferably roasted)
  • 9 ounces (1 bag) peppermint filled baking truffles (I used Nestle)

 

Whisk the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together in a bowl until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, vanilla and coffee liquor. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Pour the dry  ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix together.

Add the chopped hazelnuts and the peppermint filled baking truffles and mix together.

Put the dough in the fridge while the oven is preheating at 350F.

Line a large non-stick baking sheet. Scoop the dough into balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges appear set.

Cool cookies on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy, bon profit!

Hazelnut & Peppermint Chocolate Cookies

Melindros (served with Hot Chocolate)

Melindros are very popular in Spain, they are similar to a cookie but with a cake-like texture. The tradition is to dip the melindro into hot chocolate. In Spain, the texture of hot chocolate is much thicker, more like a pudding and its spooned, not sipped.

The recipe for these melindros is very easy. By themselves, they’re good, but they are much better when you dip them in hot chocolate.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Confectioner sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar vigorously with a whisk until creamy. Sift the flour and baking powder  into the sugar mixture. Stir until it’s incorporated. Gently, add the egg whites and fold them until fully incorporated.

Using a piping bag, pipe the mixture approximately 4 1/2-inches in length on to the baking sheet. Dust them with confectioner sugar. Bake 6 to 8 minutes, or until just firm on the outside and soft in the center and golden brown.

Enjoy with a hot cup of hot chocolate.

Bon profit!

Melindros (served with Hot Chocolate)

Orange Marmalade

 

Hola!!

For today, I made an orange marmalade. I love oranges! And it’s orange season! As a kid growing up in Spain, I would have a fresh squeezed orange juice every day. (Thanks mom!) Here in the US, I don’t do it as often, but makes for a nice treat.

Oranges are so healthy, and since it is orange season, I try to utilize oranges as much as I can.  This recipe is so tasty, I love it!

Ingredients for about 3 jars of 10 oz and 1 jar of 6oz:

  • 2 lbs oranges peeled and quartered (about 6 oranges)
  • 1 small lemon peeled (if it’s big, cut in half).
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups water

Cut the skin of the orange and the lemon into julienne strips or into 1/4 inch strips.

Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil and boil the cut strips for 15 minutes and set aside.

orange 1

In a large pot, bring the 1/3 cup of water to a boil, add the oranges, the sugar and the orange and lemon strips. Reduce the heat, and let it simmer.

orange2

Continue to cook on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Stir every 20 minutes.

orange 3

To keep the jam fresh in a jars, I first boiled the jars, then added the jam to about 1/8 inch from the top. Place the lids tightly on and place the jars upside down on the counter. Allow the jam to cool before turning right side up. Leave it upside down for a few hours.

orange4

Easy and now you should have fresh marmalade for months to come. Also, makes great gifts!

I love to eat this marmalade with a piece of homemade bread with butter. Delicious!

Bon profit!

 

Orange Marmalade

Cheese Balls topped with Pecans & Cranberries

Hola!!!

Wow. Those are the words that I have for these mini cheese balls topped with chopped pecans and cranberries. Eat one, and you will want another. And perhaps …. another! This tapa is perfect. It can be made ahead of time, and served small (bite-sized!) or as a two-biter. It can also be served with crackers.
Trust me, I couldn’t stop eating them!

Ingredients for about 25 cheese balls:

1 large log of goat cheese (about 11oz)

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup of cranberries

In a food processor, add the pecans and the cranberries. Blend them up, but be careful, you don’t want them to look like crumbs. Transfer onto a plate.
Shape the goat cheese into bite-sized balls and roll each ball into the pecan-cranberry mixture. Transfer the balls into the refrigerator to harden and take them out after about 30 minutes before serving.

Cheese balls

Bon profit!

Cheese Balls topped with Pecans & Cranberries