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 extra cornmeal or bread crumbs, ground rice or lentils, or crushed tortilla chips before frying them in Step 4. 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 (see the chart, page 475)
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 cups cooked or canned white or other beans, drained but still
- moist, bean-cooking liquid reserved
- A few tablespoons vegetable stock (pages 97–100) or water
- ½ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Salt and pepper
- About ½ cup coarse cornmeal or bread crumbs (preferably fresh, page 678)
- Peanut or other oil for frying
- If you want to serve the croquettes hot, heat the oven to 200°F. Mash the beans by putting them through a food mill, or pulse in a blender or food processor. Use a little bean-cooking liquid, stock, or water if the beans are too dry to mash. Do not purée; you want a few bean chunks in this mixture.
- If you used a blender or food processor, transfer the beans to a medium bowl. Combine the beans with the onion, parsley, and egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add cornmeal by the tablespoon until you’ve made a dough that is barely stiff enough to handle. You should be able to shape it with your hands without sticking, but it should be quite fragile or the cakes will be dry. Cover the bottom of a large, deep skillet with about ⅛ inch of oil; turn the heat to medium. Shape the bean mixture into patties 2 to 3 inches across or into 1½ × 3-inch logs; 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 to 8 minutes total. Keep warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes until you’re ready to serve, or serve at room temperature.
- SPICY BLACK BEAN CROQUETTES Use black beans and replace the parsley with cilantro. Add 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño or other fresh chile or hot sauce to taste in Step 2. Use cornmeal. Serve with salsa.
- ADZUKI CROQUETTES An Asian twist: Use adzuki beans. Replace the onion with 2 tablespoons minced scallions. Add 1 tablespoon each minced garlic and fresh ginger in Step 2. Omit the parsley and use crushed Sichuan peppercorns instead of black pepper for seasoning. Dip the croquettes in beaten egg, then roll in panko before frying.