We are proud to introduce you to a new sensation in Spain. The Croquertilla®. This croquertilla recipe will enable you to easily recreate the dish at home.
I first heard about croquertillas while browsing through Instagram. The photo I saw looked appetising enough… and when I did researched a little deeper, I knew I had to make them myself! They are so easy that we’ve shared our version of the recipe below for you. It is exactly what it sounds like – the lovechild of a croqueta and a tortilla. What’s not to love? But first a little history…
The Croquertilla story
The brainchild behind this ball of joy is 26-year-old Jano Cabello, a brand innovator, publicist and foodie from Zaragoza.
Jano appeared on Aragon TV’s “La Batalla de las Tapas” with his mother, who Jano descibes as the real chef in the house. As part of the show the contestants had to carry out tasks. One of these was to reinterpret the tortilla. Jano thought about combining the humble tortilla with one of Spain’s other popular tapas – the croqueta – in one, easy to make and eat, tasty dish… perfect for tapas or picnics.
As part of his preparation, Jano invited friends and family around to test his suggestion. When he described the croquertilla, his loved ones were very unsure and suggested he just made four – to test. They were concerned that it would be too complicated, or that it would simply fall apart. However, as soon as they bit into these magical balls… they loved them and immediately demanded that he make more. It was actually Jan’s girlfriend Miriam who suggested that he cook the potato/egg mix in a pan for a few seconds to make the mix easier to work with.
Unfortunately, Jano’s recipe was edited out of the programme, so viewers never got to see him cook them on the screen. But, not to be deterred, Jano shared his images and ideas on Social Networks and these have been gaining in popularity ever since.
His original recipe was the traditional potato, onion and egg… although since then Jano has experimented with morcilla and chistorra (cured sausage from northern Spain, very like chorizo), describing them as “super good.”
Although others may have made other versions of these delights before*, it is Jano Cabello’s publicity experience that has enabled it to really take off and in its new (and we think “improved”) form. I know that I was itching to make them myself as soon as I saw them.
If you want your version to turn out just like Jano Cabello’s – then it needs to be golden and crispy on the outside and gooey inside. Now that is exactly how I love them… but that’s a step too far for some, who prefer their croquertillas to be completely set.If you love gooey tortilla, you’ll love gooey croquertillas. If you prefer a set tortilla, then you’ll want a set croquertilla.
The croquertilla recipe
And now onto the recipe. It must be made clear that this is the easy Spain Buddy version, and isn’t an official version.
Croquertilla ingredients (makes 8 to 10)
For the filling
- 2 or 3 medium potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 3 eggs
- A pinch of sugar (white)
- Lots of olive oil for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the coating
- 1 beaten egg
- A couple of fistfuls of flour (it doesn’t matter which type)
- A couple of fistfuls of breadcrumbs (I’ve tried with packet bought and hand grated. The former is easier and tends to stick better)
If you can already make a tortilla… then you’ll understand the principle – potato, egg and maybe onion… Here’s the easy tortilla recipe link. But – this recipe does require a vital change… cutting the potato and onion into small dice rather than slices or the large chunks you may be used to. I diced them about 1cm cubed the first time and they were really difficult to keep in one piece.
- Finely dice the onion and cook really really slowly in a little olive oil until translucent. If like me, you like them caramelised… then add the pinch of sugar to sweeten the onion and cook for longer. Don’t let them burn!!
- While that’s all happening, peel and dice finely the potatoes (about 5mm cubes) and fry gently in lots of olive oil.
- Once the potatoes are soft, and the onions are nicely cooked, drain really well – reserving a little of the olive oil.
- In a large frying pan or saucepan, add a little of the reserved olive oil and then throw in the potatoes, onions, 2 eggs plus a pinch each of salt and pepper.
- Mix well
- Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the egg just starts to set.
- You want this sloppy rather than set because it will be going through another cooking stage
- Remove from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes or so until it is cool enough for you to handle
- Set out 3 plates or shallow bowls in the following order: 1 containing the flour, 1 containing a lightly beaten egg and 1 containing your breadcrumbs.
- You may also wish to have a breadboard or large plate to pop your prepared croquertillas onto
- Pop a saucepan or deep frying pan containing plenty of olive oil onto a medium / high heat
- Take a rounded tablespoon of the potato mixture and (using wet hands because it’s easier) form into a ball or a croqueta shape.
- Now roll in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and set aside ready to fry
- Once your mixture is all finished, fry the balls in batches until they are golden
- They are done when the outside is golden and crispy, but the inside is still glistening.
Spain Buddy Tips
As always, we love a bit of variation. Try adding the following ingredients (finely diced) before you mix in the egg. And do let us know what you tried too!
- Morcilla (black pudding)
- Sun roasted tomatoes
- Red peppers – the sweet ones out of a jar are even better!
You can prepare these in advance and refrigerate them – but don’t be tempted to cook from frozen… they’ll still be cold in the centre unless the balls are really small and you’ve dropped the oil temperatire.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.