The kroket or bitterbal is a a deep fried snack, popular in the Netherlands. It is crunchy on the outside, but very soft and smooth on the inside. The difference between a kroket and a bitterbal is the size. Kroket is a small roll and a bitterbal is a small ball.Each year 300 million croquettes are sold in the Netherlands (which works out to about 18 per person annualy), making it the second most-popular snack in the country. This number does not include croquettes made and consumed domestically, likely to number in the millions as well. Its popularity is only surpassed by the frikadel, a minced-meat hot dog, of which about 580 million are sold each year.Vendors have often tried to market and sell it in other countries, but have failed, even in neighbouring countries like Belgium and Germany. Potato croquettes, however, are quite popular in some parts of Germany and in Belgium. In Japanese cuisine, a relative of the croquette, known as korokke is a popular fried-food item, but is generally patty-shaped, and served with a brown sauce.HistoryThe croquette was actually a French invention, and was introduced in the Netherlands at the start of the 20th century. In 1909, the Dutch patissier Kwekkeboom came across a fried, ragout filled croquette in France. The French used all sorts of fillings to make their croquettes: various kinds of meat, fish, vegetables, and potatoes. Kwekkeboom introduced the croquette to the Netherlands and started producing croquettes filled with good-quality beef. The croquette became hugely popular, and nowadays there are numerous suppliers, though quality and price can differ greatly. Suppliers have experimented with all sorts of croquette fillings, including salmon, asparagus, sate, shrimp, cheese, and goulash.
The ‘automatiek’ is a typical Dutch vending machine
Croquettes, and frikadels (and other hot snacks like hamburgers) are often sold in snack bars, in particular in automatieken (see also automat). They are often located at railway stations, or in busy shopping streets. One large chain of these automatieks is FEBO.
Croquettes are often eaten in a bread bun, with mustard.
Croquettes are so popular in the Netherlands that even McDonalds sells something like it, though with a hamburger shape, in a bread bun: the McKroket.
Urban Myth: The ingredients of the cheaper croquettes are the subject of a recurring urban myth, according to which offal, pigs’ eyes, cows’ udders, chickens’ toes, and other animal parts are added to the croquets to provide bulk and flavour. All this is very unlikely since Dutch food law is very strict, and any supplier adding animal waste to food risks being banned from the industry altogether. Some have suggested the possibility of these rumours having been started by the top croquette brands in the Netherlands – Van Dobben and Kwekkeboom – to distinguish themselves from the lower quality, cheaper, brands. The source of this information is from wikipedia.com
1 stick margarine
1 cup of minced onion
1 cup of flour
4 cups of shredded beef
1 beef bouillon cube
3 cups of beef broth (where you cooked the beef in)
1 cup of chopped parsley
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup of flour (for rolling)
Boil the beef in water till it falls apart or chop it, it took me about a good 4 hour on simmer. Save the beef broth you are going to need it for the roux. You don’t have to use beef you can use pork or chicken, whichever you prefer.
It’s time to make the roux and this is how you do it. Melt the margarine in the skillet, add the minced onion, cook till translucent, then add the flour. Keep stirring. Then add the beef broth, 1 cup at the time.
Keep stirring till you have a nice sauce. Add the seasonings, the shredded or chopped beef and the parsley. Pour onto a cookie sheet and let it cool in your refrigerator for about 2 hours. When you take it out of the refrigerator it will be a bit more solid.
Wet your hand with the canola oil, and roll the kroketten.
When you are finished rolling the kroketten you roll them in the flour then the egg wash and the last one in the bread crumbs. I like to flash freeze mine but you don’t have to. While I clean up my kitchen I put them in the freezer to flash freeze.
When your kitchen is all cleaned up again you can go and deep fry these kroketten. Eat as an appetizer or eat them for lunch on a bun or a slice of bread. Did anyone notice that I started frying 3 kroketten and I end up with 2 😉