José Pizarro is behind some of London's greatest tapas, with his José tapas bar in Bermondsey among London's best restaurants.
His book Basque takes a look at some of the best restaurants from the Basque country, and we've picked out one in particular for you to try. His croquetas are amazing - so here's a chance for you to replicate them at home.
Spinach & goat’s cheese croquetas, by José Pizarro
Makes 32–34 croquetas
"Croquetas, croquetas, croquetas. Many people tell me that they make a beeline to Spanish restaurants for the croquetas and the tortilla, and we are very proud of ours. This is one of the most popular flavours at the restaurant; they are so creamy and moreish."
You can freeze them ahead of time, and then just defrost before frying.
- 500g (1lb 2oz) baby leaf spinach
- 400ml (13 fl oz) full-fat (whole) milk
- 100ml (3½ fl oz) strong fresh vegetable stock
- 80g (3oz) butter
- 125g (4oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 80g (3oz) goat’s cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 125g (4oz) dry breadcrumbs
- olive oil for deep-frying
- Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the spinach with a tiny splash of water. Cook for 3–4 minutes or until completely wilted, then run under cold water. Once cold, squeeze out all the water. Chop finely and set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the milk and the stock together. In another saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add the flour and cook for 2–3 minutes. When the mixture starts to turn brown, begin adding the milk and stock very slowly until you get a really silky-smooth mix. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
- Add the cheese to the mixture slowly, then add the spinach and stir constantly until it is well combined. Season with salt, pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
- Spread the mixture onto a shallow tray and press a sheet of clingfilm (plastic wrap) over the top. Cool down in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Put some oil in the palm of your hand and roll the mixture into 30 g (1 oz) balls. If they are a little soft, pop them on a tray in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Place the beaten egg and the breadcrumbs into two separate bowls. Dip the croquetas first into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F) and fry the croquetas for around 2 minutes or until golden.
- Drain on paper towels, then eat straight away.
If you visit the Basque Country, you will undoubtedly fall in love. Located on the Spanish-French border in Northern Spain, it is home to some of the world's finest restaurants, spectacular modern architecture and dramatic scenery.
In Basque, the leading Spanish chef, Jose Pizarro, takes readers on a journey around this magical place, taking inspiration from traditional dishes and local ingredients, and adding his own unique twist. From the delicious bite-sized morsels known as pintxos Basque-style tapas to more hearty main meals and sumptuous desserts, Jose shows you how easy it is to prepare Spanish food at home. The cuisine of this region is wonderful to share with family and friends but it's also about informality and not being a slave to your stove.
Set to the backdrop of the stunning views of San Sebastian and the rest of the Basque Country, Basque is a culinary jaunt around one of Spain's most colourful and exciting destinations. It has just been reissued in a compact, hard cover edition.
Plus, win a copy of the book!
Want to win José Pizarro's book? Here's how to enter.
More about José Pizarro
Where are his restaurants? Broadgate and Bermondsey
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