Part of our ‘Around the World’ series with Chef & Author Theo Michaels, this recipe is inspired by Mexico:
“Incredibly moreish and packed with flavour. The secret is to make the croquettes small so they cook through in the pan and give a nice crunch!”
The salsa can be made ahead of time. Drain the can of cherry tomatoes (save the liquid to use another day) and drop the cherry tomatoes into a mixing bowl. Add the jalapeño chilli, lime juice, olive oil, salt, fresh herbs and gently fold together.
To make the croquettes, drain and mash the potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add the sardines and mash with a fork. Then add the chipotle chilli flakes, egg, seasoning, smoked paprika and grated cheese and mix together; it will be quite wet at this stage. Add the flour (adding a bit more if needed) until it all holds together. Take an egg sized portion of the mixture and roll into a ball then flatten slightly and coat in the breadcrumbs. Continue until all the mixture is used up.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pan (at least ½ inch deep) until it’s hot enough that a pinch of breadcrumbs immediately sizzles when dropped in, but doesn’t burn. Lay the croquettes into the oil and cook on a medium heat for about 3 minutes each side until they are golden and crisp and the inside is piping hot. Remove with slotted spoon onto a kitchen towel and leave to rest for a moment.
When ready to serve, heat the tortillas if preferred, lay a swipe of sour cream across the tortilla and top with a few crispy sardine croquettes, a drizzle of the salsa and any extra fresh leaves/herbs on top – enjoy!