Tag Archives: tapas

Vegetable Croquetas with Arugula

In the summer of 2004 I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain.  It was a great summer filled with drinking boxed wine on the street, eating delicious Spanish food, traveling around the country and improving my Spanish.  I ate tapas before they were cool here in the US.  My señora was a great cook, and I wish I had learned a bit more from her.

On my first day, she prepared gazpacho and croquetas (croquettes).  Upon my first taste of the cold tomato soup, I was worried that I was going to hate the food in Spain.  But then when I first took my first bite of the croqueta- I knew I could survive.  It was warm, crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside.  Yes, I could definitely eat these.  Fortunately, I eventually fell in love with gazpacho and many other delicious recipes Macarena (my señora) prepared.

Most Spanish croquetas are made with meat, the most popular being chicken or ham and cheese.  But sometimes you just need some extra vegetables in your life.  So when I found this recipe for a vegetable croqueta- I couldn’t pass it up.

Vegetable Croquetas with Arugula
Adapted from: Cooking Light (March 2012)

You can serve these over any salad or eat them as an appetizer.  The cheese choices can also be swapped for something you have (such as cheddar). 

1 large or 2-3 small potatoes
8 oz cremini mushrooms, halved
1 leek, washed & roughly chopped
2 tsp thyme, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Gruyère, shredded
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 egg, yolk & white separated
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Boil water in a small pan, then drop in the potato(es).  Allow to boil until they are cooked.  Take it out of the water, and then mash the potato into a smooth consistency.

Add the mushrooms, leeks and thyme into a food processor.  Pulse until all of the vegetables are finely chopped.

Heat a large skillet, and add 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once it’s warm, add the mushroom mixture and mashed potato, allow it to cook for about 5 minutes.  Turn off the burner, but while the mixture is still warm add the Gruyère, salt, pepper and egg yolk.  Stir the ingredients well.

Divide the mixture and shape each piece (of about 2-3 tbsp) into little logs or round patties.  Lay them out.

Have the flour in a shallow dish.   In another dish have the egg white.  In a third dish, combine and mix the panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Dredge each vegetable patty in the flour, then dip it in the egg white, and lastly dredge it again in the panko mixture.  Do this with all of your patties.

Heat up the skillet once more, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Then add each of the patties, cook them for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.

I topped a arugula salad with these croquetas, drizzled with a vinaigrette.

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Corn & Zucchini Burritos

I apologize for the lack of posts this weekend.  Sam and I went to Virginia Beach for a short weekend getaway.  Both of us needed a break from the city, and a little beach time!  I used to live in VA Beach, so it also gave us an opportunity to hang out with my friend P* (and her fiancé- J*, and her sister- S*).  We had a fantastic time hanging out with them at a fun new place I  never knew about.

Pacifica is not a big tourist destination, since it’s a little north of the majority of the hotels.  We had a great time, and I’ll keep this tapas restaurant in mind when we go back.  Mainly, what we did over our weekend is lay on the beach.  Both of our bodies needed some sun, and our minds needed some good reading on the beach.  To top off the weekend, traffic between DC and VA Beach wasn’t bad at all- so life is good!

But it’s back to the grind today.  Lucky for us, Independence Day weekend is right around the corner, so I’m sure this week will fly by.  We’re looking forward to trying a new place for dinner this weekend.  It’s been around for way over a year, the Logan Circle place of Birch & Barley, but we haven’t tried  it yet.  And of course, I’m looking forward to some 4th of July fireworks!

I’m not going to lie, we haven’t been doing much cooking lately.  Or rather, the stuff that we have made hasn’t necessarily been looking stellar enough for the blog, or it just didn’t have a taste that we’d want to someone else to replicate.  But we’ll get back into the groove once again, so hopefully I’ll have more frequent posts.

I am leaving you with this great burrito recipe I got from the June issue of Vegetarian Times.  The recipe recommended chayotes, but the grocery store didn’t have any, so a zucchini was the substitution.  In addition, I added a little * next to cilantro.  Please add that to the burritos, they’ll taste significantly better.

Why did I not add cilantro to ours?  Well, apparently someone from Peapod mixed up the cilantro with a parsley variety.  So we got two different kinds of parsley in the last grocery delivery, and I didn’t realize it until I was ready to chop up my “cilantro” to add to the burritos.  Ooops!  I ended up using very little parsley, but it didn’t have the same great taste that the cilantro would have given it.

Corn & Zucchini Burritos
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times  (June 2011)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, cubed
1-2 jalapeños, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup of black beans
1 red pepper, sliced into cubes
juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup Mexican cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3-4 tortillas
*2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Then add the onion, zucchini, jalapeños and garlic; cook them until the onion begins to brown.  Then stir in the corn, black beans and red pepper, cook for another 5 minutes.  Finally, stir in 1/3 of the Mexican cheese, salt and pepper.  Lastly, add the lime juice to the mixture.

Divide the vegetable mixture between the 3-4 tortillas.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the mixture, before rolling the tortilla.

* Cilantro can (should be) sprinkled onto the top of this mixture to bring out the excellent flavors.