Spinach and cheese croquettes (Bolinhos de espinafre e queijo)

In Portuguese the word bolo means cake, so bolinho is a diminutive of that word. Theoretically this word should refer to a small cake: more like croquettes in this case. These spinach and cheese croquettes make a perfect afternoon snack, breakfast and can even be an appetizer: they are very fast and easy to make. Because of the tasty spinach with onions included in the recipe, this will give this appetizer a rich flavor. The spinach should be washed before placing them on a board in the kitchen sink: then, just pour some boiling water over them to soften them, then allow enough time for all water to drain. Soft and salty, these biscuits will not get soggy because the dough should not contain any oil. Some will like to include leftover cooked rice in the dough.

Bolinhos recipe

* 2 tablespoons grated cheese
* 2 cups fresh spinach
* 3 cups wheat flour
* 1 cup breadcrumbs
* 2 cups oil
* 2 cups water
* 1 cup milk
* 2 cubes of vegetable broth
* butter
* salt, to taste
* 1 egg, yolk and egg white separated


1) Place the spinah leaves in a metal strainer: bring 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat and cook the spinach leaves, pouring the boiling water over them. Drain off the water then chop the spinach.

2) Mix the chopped spinach with the grated cheese, moisten your hands and roll small balls. Place these small balls over a dish and put them all in the freezer to freeze them up solid.

3) Pour the milk in another pan, heat it up then dissolve both vegetable bouillon cubes in the hot milk and, keeping a 1 to 1 ratio, add 1 cup of hot water.

4) Pour three cups of wheat flour and mix until get a smooth dough that does not stick to the pan; add a pinch of salt. You can reserve until its time to knead the dough.

5) Grease a smooth surface greased with butter. Put the dough, add the egg yolk and knead until the dough is smooth. Reserve until the dough cools.

6) Divide the dough, with open hands and fill the dough with the reserved frozen balls. Roll each doughballs first in the egg white, and then in the breadcrumbs.

7) Preferably using your deep fryer for safety, fry the balls in hot oil until golden. Place on a plate with paper towels to drain excess fat, and serve.

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