Croquetas de Pescado
2 pounds firm fish, grouper, tilapia, halibut
2 cups milk, heated
1 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon fresh garlic finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime zest
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, 2 tbls. and 2 tbls.
3 teaspoons salt, divided, 2 tsp. for fish and 1 tsp. for the rest
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika, (hot or sweet)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 to 3 large eggs
Breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
Canola oil for frying'
Season fish with the 2 teaspoons of salt, oregano, cumin, and paprika. In large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and quickly sauté fish until golden and cooked through. Remove from pan. In same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, sauté onions, peppers and garlic. Cook until tender. While veggies cook, flake fish into small pieces. When veggies are tender add to fish, along with the parsley and lime zest. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Rinse skillet, melt butter on low heat. Add flour. Cook until bubbly, whisk in the heated milk, add nutmeg. Gently fold in the fish mixture, keep on low medium heat as you stir to combine. The mixture will start coming away from the pan and come together. When this happens, remove from heat, put on large platter to cool. Refrigerate until cold.
When mixture is cooled prepare work surface. Beat eggs in a bowl, place breadcrumbs in a dish. Form croquetas by taking about 1 tablespoon, form into cylinder shape about 1 inch long. Roll in eggs and then breadcrumbs. When all are formed, heat canola oil, about 3 inches deep in large skillet. Brown croquetas, drain on paper towels and serve with saffron aïoli.