Croquetas. As your teeth crunch the through golden-brown crumb coating to release the thick, yellowy middle, your brain clicks into gear and tries to make sense of it. Jeff May, the owner of Bar Gernika, a Boise landmark, explained croquetas are made from a simple recipe. "It's just chicken, flour, milk and salt," he said. "They're formed into balls, coated in an egg batter, rolled in panko crumbs and deep fried."
Chicken meat (sorry, vegetarians; Gernika's croquetas contain chicken) is run through a food processor and then added to a roux of the other ingredients. May said croquetas were traditionally football shaped, but the ball shape is easier. "We sell 500-1,000 croquetas a day," May said. .
The Basque Market, which is just a hop, skip and a jump down the Basque Block from Gernika, also offers homemade croquetas but in a take-home version. Market co-owner Tara Elhose-Eiguren said they offer a chicken base but also have ham, cod and shrimp options. And good news, vegetarians, they do make a cheese and pepper version. "It just depends what we have available," Elhose-Eiguren said. "We call it chef's whim."
So the next time your brain orders your feet to carry you and your taste buds to Gernika or the Basque Market for croquetas, don't argue. Now that it knows exactly what it's after, there won't be any stopping it.