The Croqueta: a classic Cuban sidekick. It’s a deep-fried plantain mash bite. It’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You’ll die and go to flavour heaven!
Put green pepper, red onion and garlic in a food processor to make the sofrito. Set aside.
Mix tomato puree with water.
Add the chicken bouillon and mix well to the tomato puree and water mixture.
In a medium-sized pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
Add processed green pepper, red onion and garlic, cook on medium to medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
Add the tomato puree mixture to the pan and cook on low, medium-low heat for about 5-8 minutes to reduce liquid and concentrate flavours. This is your sofrito.
Push the sofrito to the edges and add the ground beef to the centre of the pan. Let the meat cook, then mix with the sofrito. Continue to break it up the ground meat while cooking at medium heat.
Add adobo, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to the pan, then reduce to medium-low heat.
When meat is almost fully cooked, add the Sazon Goya, mix well.
Add the dry wine to the pan.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer, breaking up larger pieces for 20-25 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Turn off the heat and use a strainer to remove the meat into a separate bowl to cool. This will drain the oil from the meat. Set aside.
Place the plantains with skin on large sheet pans and bake at 350° in convection oven for 15-20 minutes, until you see them pop and bake.
Remove plantain from the oven, let them cool and remove the skins. Remove any hard pieces from the centre of the plantains and put it in a bowl to mash.
Mix the mash with the meat and let it chill for an hour or more. Set aside for the assembly.
Mix the chilled meat and plantain with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Chill overnight or 3-4 hours until firm.
Measure out 1 oz (can use teaspoon or small scoop) of mixture and shape the batter into a small tubular croqueta.
Dip the croqueta into flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Next, dip the croqueta into an egg mixture.
Once croqueta is coated with the egg mixture, roll in breadcrumbs, also seasoned with salt and pepper.
Chill and let the croquetas rest for anywhere from a half hour to overnight (until ready to use.)
Fry the chilled croquetas in peanut oil at 350º for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.