I love croquettes, they take me down memory lane and remind me of when I used to walk home from secondary school and stop at the local grocery to get some, which I would finish off by the time I got home. They were the best croquettes I have ever eaten but sadly that grocery store is no more. The memory lives on, however, and I will continue making croquettes in search of that perfect taste and texture.
‘Migas’ are a traditional Portuguese and Spanish dish that was created by shepherds who, as they went to the fields to look after their flock, had little more than stale bread and wild garlic to cook with. The story goes that the tradition stands and that they still cook the dish today.
This is so traditional Portuguese/Spanish, even the sterner connaisseur of Iberian foods would agree. And it’s proper peasant food! Is there anything more authentic? As usual, garlic and olive oil feature abundantly and it is surprisingly simple to make.
The other day, a friend and I were discussing making rice. I get the impression that rice is often touch and go for a lot of people. They have heard lots of different versions of what works and what doesn’t work and often don’t understand why it never turns out quite right. Even on Masterchef, a cooking TV competition with super-skilled contestants, I have seen rice fail.
Because I cook it often, over the years I managed to perfect a way to make a loose, fluffy and tasty rice that doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, without thinking too much about it (even though my skills do not come close to any of the talented people that cook on TV!).
These potatoes are very simple and they are all about achieving a velvety sweet centre and a crunchy salty outside. I have cooked these without peel and it doesn’t compare (more flavour with peel – less work to do!). The shallots add some sweetness and softness. You don’t have to add them if you don’t want to, but they go really well here.
I serve this dish at barbecues, especially if you have lots of people around, or to go with roasted meat or fish.