I have a new favourite food. Black pudding croquettes. A walnut sized piece of black pudding wrapped around some cheese and rolled in breadcrumbs and then deep fried.
As they arrive at the table they are almost too hot too handle and then when you bite into them…..the black pudding is as hot as just cooled magma and has a good earthy taste and then there is a scalding burst of cheese.
We ate them yesterday evening in Roja Pinchos on Berry Street, Liverpool. Our second time there in a week. We were with children last night so didn’t have the opportunity to start the evening off with a couple of pints.
Pinchos are a kind of finger food from Northern Spain. They are smaller than a tapas and each one is really no more than a mouthful or two and they are very good.
We sat ourselves down near the bar. This was a good thing in some ways as all the cold food is stacked there so there was no need to get up to help yourself to more, in fact we could pick the food off the plates and onto our table without having to lift ourselves off our seats. This did mean that we ate more than we ought to and it did start to add up.
There is no menu. The cold food is on the bar and you can use your eyes to see what it is or ask one of the men in a red t-shirt if you are not sure. Each piece of food is pierced with a large cocktail stick. The sticks come in two sizes; small costs £1.50 and large £3.00. So you can see the danger of being sat within easy reaching distances of the good food on the bar.
The hot food was a list of good sounding food reeled off by one of the men in a red t-shirt. This was the first night they had been doing the black pudding croquettes.
So we had:-
– from the cold bar – ham wrapped around a stick held together with a small red pepper stuffed with cheese, tortilla, figs wrapped in ham, chicken salad, smoked salmon with potato salad, roasted red pepper stuffed with potato mayonnaise on a piece of bread and goats cheese encrusted either with pistachio or black seed.
– for the hot food we had – creamed mushrooms on toast with a perfectly formed fried quails egg, pork loin deep fried with cheese, mackerel and sea bass on toast and prawns and of course potatas bravas.
We ate the lot drinking the house white and pints of Estrella trying to lose count of the sticks as they gathered in a pile on the table.
We will be back to eat more of the black pudding croquettes hopefully sneaking the same seats up near the bar.
The continental Europeans seem to love croquettes, although personally I’ve never been able to understand why. “Black pudding croquettes” sounds adventurous, though: perhaps one to introduce to the good people of Ahakista?
I should probably have a go with with some Clonakilty Black Pudding!