Parties can be a little stressful: what to wear? What to bring? What time should I arrive to appear cool? What is my exit strategy?
This season tends to have a lot of parties back to back, so the anxiety can start to mount – when really the point of it all is to enjoy eachother’s company and eat a lot of good food.
To answer the question of what to bring, and to fulfill the good food quota, you can make these fish and fava bean croquettes – yay! These came into being because I wanted to make something out of what I had already, thereby minimizing shopping time. Also, the fava beans need to be boiled beforehand, which is a step that requires little supervision, so these croquettes practically make themselves. Moreover, it is my strong belief that limitation begets creativity, and anything in little cute round pancake-y shapes will be a sure win at a party.
So remember: take a deep breath, relax, let’s go putter in the kitchen to make something to eat, and black goes with everything.
Fish and fava bean croquettes
makes about 20 little croquettes that are 2″ diameter
1 cup dried fava beans, soaked overnight
2 large tilapia fillets (or another mild white fish)
1 green onion, diced
1 small handful parsley (stems and leaves), diced
1 small Thai chile, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of half a large lemon
a good splash each of mirin and fish sauce
about 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
Ok. So. After soaking the fava beans overnight, pop the beans out of their skins. This is actually pretty fun, because repetitive actions are mindless and you can solve a lot of life problems while doing this. Throw the de-skinned beans into a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or so. Drain most of the water and puree the beans. If they are still a little chunky (fava beans never really seem to soften), it doesn’t matter, because everyone is going to be half-drunk when they eat these (I mean, the chunky texture makes it more interesting). Let the beans cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until you are ready to fry up the croquettes.
When it is fry time, dice the raw fish fillets into small pieces (or you could try pulsing them in a food processor). Mix with the fava beans and everything else. If it seems too soggy, add a tablespoon more of flour. If it seems dry, add a splash of water. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you go pick out your party outfit. To fry, drop a couple tablespoons of sunflower oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Plop heaping tablespoons of the fish-fava mixture, flipping the croquettes over when they turn an appetizing brown (about 3-5 minutes). I like keeping my croquettes rather plump, which means they might not cook through the middle during the frying time – so pile the croquettes into a roasting dish, and when they have all been fried, throw them into a preheated 350 F oven for 5-10 minutes to make sure the middles are cooked.
Let the croquettes cool to room temperature, and then throw in a lemon half before wrapping up. You can get all fancy and squeeze the lemon juice over the croquettes when you get to the party!