Bean Croquettes

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 20 minutes with cooked beans

These are fast, straightforward, and dead easy. Mix in some finely chopped vegetables, spices, or fresh herbs or change the kind of beans you use there are tons of variations.

Though this basic recipe needs no coating, it’s easy enough to add if you want more crunch: roll the shaped croquettes in cornmeal, bread crumbs, panko, ground rice or lentils, or even crushed tortilla chips. For extra crispness, coat the croquettes in beaten egg, then roll them in the coating.

Other beans you can use: any cooked beans you have on hand, including many leftover bean dishes .

2 cups cooked or canned white or other beans, drained but with a few tablespoons bean-cooking liquid reserved

1/2 cup minced onion

1/4 cup minced parsley leaves

1 egg, lightly beaten

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 1/2 cup coarse cornmeal or Fresh Bread Crumbs

Peanut or other oil for frying

If you want to serve the croquettes hot, preheat the oven to 200В°F. Mash the beans by putting them through a food mill or into a blender or food processor. Use a little bean-cooking liquid (or other liquid, such as water or stock) if the beans are too dry to mash. Do not pure; you want a few bean chunks in this mixture.

Combine the beans with the onion, parsley, and egg and sprinkle with salt, and pepper. Add cornmeal or bread crumbs by the tablespoon until you’ve made a batter that is barely stiff enough to handle. You should be able to shape it with your hands without its sticking, but it should be quite fragile or the cakes will be dry.

Cover the bottom of a large, deep skillet with about 1/8 inch of oil; turn the heat to medium. Shape the bean mixture into patties 2 to 3 inches across or into 11/2 — 3-inch logs and when the oil is hot, put them in the skillet. Don’t crowd them; you may have to work in batches.

Cook the croquettes until nicely browned on all sides, adjusting the heat so that they brown evenly without burning before turning, 7 or 8 minutes total. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve for up to 30 minutes or serve at room temperature.

Variations

Spicy Black Bean Croquettes. Serve with salsa: Use black beans and replace the parsley with cilantro. Add 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 2 tablespoons minced jalapeo or other fresh chile or hot sauce to taste. Use cornmeal instead of the bread crumbs and proceed with the recipe.

Adzuki Croquettes. An Asian twist: Use adzuki beans; replace the onion with 2 tablespoons minced scallion and 1 tablespoon each minced garlic and peeled fresh ginger. Omit the parsley and use Sichuan peppercorns instead of black pepper for seasoning. Dip the croquettes in beaten egg, then roll in panko instead of cornmeal or bread crumbs.

Hot and Smoky Red Bean Croquettes. Use red beans and Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or any barbecue sauce with a chopped chipotle chile and some of its adobo sauce mixed in, instead of the bean-cooking liquid. Coat the croquettes in crushed tortilla chips or cornmeal and proceed with the recipe.

A Choice of Sauces for Bean Croquettes

With basic Bean Croquettes

  1. Traditional Pesto or Parsley
  2. Garlic Mayonnaise
  3. Ranch Dressing
  4. Port Wine or Brewhouse Mustard
  5. Homemade or Mushroom Ketchup

With Spicy Black Bean Croquettes or Chili non Carne Croquettes

  1. Pured Salsa Fresca
  2. Chimichurri
  3. Real Ranch Dressing
  4. Salsa Borracha
  5. Cooked Tomatillo Salsa

With Adzuki Croquettes or Spicy Soybeans with Kimchi Croquettes

  1. Seaweed
  2. Basil Dipping Sauce
  3. Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce and Marinade, Korean Style
  4. Ginger-Scallion Sauce
  5. Simple Miso Herb Dipping Sauce

With Hot and Smoky Red Bean Croquettes

  1. Papaya and other fruit salsas
  2. Lighter Cilantro (or Other Herb)
  3. Avocado Yogurt Sauce
  4. Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

With Stewed Fava Beans with Tahini Croquettes

  1. The Simplest Yogurt Sauce
  2. Tahini Sauce
  3. Roasted Garlic Tahini Sauce
  4. Pured Pine Nut Sauce
  5. Harissa

With Mung Bean Dal with Apples, Coconut, and Mint or Buttery Lentils and Potatoes with Curry Croquettes

  1. Raita or Ginger Yogurt Sauce
  2. Pineapple Chutney
  3. Tomato Chutney
  4. Chile-Yogurt Sauce
  5. Indian-Style Chile Paste