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Cristina’s Plant-Based Cuban Croquetas

Loisa croquetas

This sponsored featured recipe was created by Loisa and is published in partnership with Familia Kitchen Brand Studio. It offers a delicious and nutritious plant-based take on croquetas by Cristina Maria Curp of The Castaway Kitchen and @thecastawaykitchen.

Croquetas were a staple throughout my childhood. From the greasy paper bags my dad would bring home every Sunday, to la ventanita at La Carreta to the bandejas served at every party or gathering—croquetas meant time with family. While there were always other finger-food items available, like pastelitos de guayaba, papa rellenas y bocaditos, croquetas de jamón were my favorite.

The best were not the ones from the go-to bakeries, they were the homemade ones. Particularly my Tia Ceci’s croquetas! What a treat when she showed up with a platter of them to the party, we would all gather around and gobble them right up, they never lasted more than 10 minutes. She’d laugh and say, “I’d make more, but they’re so much work.”

Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, these bites of heaven are how I honor my family tradition, but in a way that feels good for my body. 

—Christina Maria Curp

It’s true, they’re not the easiest recipe. Definitely a labor of love. But when it comes to sharing delicious food with family, it’s always worth it. These vegan croquetas are an ode to my Tia Ceci. They take their time to make.

These plant-based croquetas are delicious, gluten-free and made with nutrient-dense ingredients like navy beans, mushroom and oregano. The beautiful color comes from Loisa Sazón. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, these bites of heaven are how I honor my family tradition, but in a way that feels good for my body. 

Tips for cooking: Make sure you’ve got the right tools and plenty of time. Never try to cook new recipes when you’re rushed or in a bad mood. You’re going to need a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, a food processor and a medium-sized scooper.

When it comes to getting the consistency for the filling right, go slow and pulse the food processor so you don’t make a puree—you want a slightly chunky paste. Taste as you go. Add salt or flour as needed until it feels just right. You should have a paste that’s soft enough to spoon easily, but firm enough that it holds as shape. The flavor is savory and a little salty, with the garlic and oregano coming through. 

Ready to make Cristina’s plant-based croquetas with mucho Loisa sazón?

Cristina’s Plant-Based Croquetas

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Cristina Maria Curp Cuisine: Cuban
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Ingredients

Directions

  • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. I recommend a 6-quart Dutch oven. While it heats, slice your onion and mushrooms.
  • Pour the olive oil into the pot. Once it’s hot, add your mushrooms. Sauté for 2-4 minutes, until tender. Add the onions, salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and black pepper. Sauté for 8 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Mix in the pecans.
  • Add the beans and the sazón and mix together. Sauté for 4 minutes, scraping up any seasonings that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Carefully transfer the bean mix to a large food processor or high-powered blender. Add in 3 Tbsp. of the cassava flour and pulse to combine.
  • Mix the flaxseed and the water in a small dish until it firms up then add that to the food processor too and pulse until you have a thick paste.
  • If it’s not firm enough, add ½ tablespoon of flour and pulse until you’ve reached the desired consistency. At this point, I recommend you taste the filling mix and add more salt, as needed.
  • Wipe your pot clean and add 2 cups of oil to the pot—or enough so you have about an inch depth of oil to fry in. Heat over medium heat until a wooden spoon inserted into the oil sizzles or the oil is 350° F.
  • While the oil comes to temperature, shape your first batch of croquetas.
  • Put the remaining flour in a shallow bowl or dish. Use your scoop to make a ball with the bean paste and place it in the flour. Use your fingers to gently roll the ball in the flour then carefully shape it into an oval and place to the side. Repeat until you have 5 to 6. Use a spoon to place these in the oil—one at a time. Fry for 4 minutes on each side, using tongs to turn over. With a slotted spoon, remove the croquetas from the oil and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • While the first batch is frying, shape your next batch of croquetas and repeat until all of them are fried. This recipe makes about 20 croquetas, typically 2 per person.
  • Serve right away—on a tray or save for later, and toast in the oven at 350° for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Instead of canned beans, you can also use dry navy or fava beans, soaked overnight and cooked.
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Loisa croquetas
Cristina Curp of @thecastawaykitchen in her cocina.

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