The other day, as I do every morning, I took my two labradors for a walk. Nothing out of the ordinary except I had overslept and had less time to walk them and get ready for work. I knew I had to rush. So we went to a park that was 10 minutes away and I let them loose thinking I would let them spend a good ten minutes chasing each other and sniffing other dogs. This took longer than I expected because the little one, Bizou, decided to forage for breakfast which meant I had to spend an extra ten minutes chasing her and trying to get her to stop.
As we made our way home I saw a man stading infront of his truck. He must have been in his twenties, and I suspect he was in the construction business because he was wearing a fluorescent yellow safety jacket, worn boots and had a rugged look about him. As we walked towards him I saw him look at them and his face broke into a wide grin and then he looked at me and said “Can I pat them?”.
He kneeled down and my dogs made a dash for him. He started patting them and then Baci, flirt that she is, lay on her back as if to ask for a tummy rub, which made him smile and happily oblige.
“You have a labrador too?” I asked him.
“Had,” he replied. “She died early this year. She was fifteen.” Then I saw him close his eyes and give each dog a big hug.
I was in a hurry and had an early morning meeting that I didn’t want to be late for… but at that moment none of that was important.
“There’s a park across the road, I was going to take them there for a little run. Did you want to come along for a few minutes?” I asked.
What mattered was that I felt like I was giving him a few moments with his dog back.
There are times in our lives when we have the opportunity to help someone relive a certain moment, it’s wonderful when we can oblige. Whether it’s spending an extra few minutes with them… or even cooking a dish that brings back the memory.
Which is why I made these Chorizo Croquetas the other day.
But I’ll save that story for another time.
Adapted from El Comedor and Penelope Casas Recipes
- 50 grams butter
- 70 grams olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 90 grams flour
- 375 ml hot milk
- 125 ml chicken stock
- 1 chorizo sausage, diced (around 100 grams)
- 2 eggs, beaten for the coating
- flour for dusting
- 150 grams bread crumbs for the coating
- Oil for frying
- Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan and add the onions, cooking until translucent, around 5 minutes over medium heat. Do not allow them to brown. Stir in the flour and cook briefly (stir constantly, around 3 minutes), then whisk in the milk and then the stock a little at a time, stirring constantly (around 5 minutes to cook the flour out) until the sauce thickens.
- Season with salt and pepper and then mix in the chorizo and cook for around 5 minutes.
- lace the beaten eggs, flour and breadcrumbs in three separate dishes. With moistened hands, form the croquetas mixture into balls or cylinders. Dip each one first in the flour, then egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
- Now you are ready to either fry them in a deep fryer (which is my preference) or a pot filled with oil at least 1/2 inch deep. Fry them for at least 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown.