Croquettes, or croquetas, are a kitchen staple in Spanish homes, and Latin Americans spin this classic in delicious ways. In Orlando’s Curry Ford West neighborhood, husband and wife Kevin and Maria Ruiz give diners a kapow! The gentle filling and crispy exterior are familiar, with extra crunch on the surface, yet here the base is silky potato mash flavored with Peruvian ají amarillo, a chili pepper ubiquitous throughout the South American country. Ground beef from Creekstone Farms is inside, and sauces of both ají amarillo and another Peruvian chili pepper, ají panca, criss-cross the pan-fried orbs. The colors, textures and flavors balance artfully. They’re served in a tiny, simple yet trend-forward reservations-only strip mall restaurant.
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