A croquette is a bread-crumbed roll that makes for a delicious appetizer or snack. This dish from Marcello Tully makes two varieties; one meat-free one using cheese and sweetcorn, and another with a ham, pea and mint filling.
Fry the onions in the butter for 3-4 minutes in a heavy-based pan, without colouring. Add the flour to the pan and mix well.
Continue mixing, and add the milk and salt. Bring the mixture to the boil until it has thickened. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Gradually whisk in the beaten egg until incorporated.
Split the mixture between two bowls. To one bowl, add the ham, peas and mint, and the cheese, sweetcorn and parsley into the other.
Cover each bowl and refrigerate until cold and set.
Dust flour onto your hands and shape each mix into 2 inch-long barrel-shaped croquettes. Alternatively, pipe the mix using a large, plain round nozzle. Place the croquettes on floured plates, ensuring you keep them separated if catering for someone who doesn't eat meat.
Roll the barrels gently in the flour. Dip the barrels into the egg mix and then the breadcrumbs, until they are well coated. This method is a good one for little ones to learn as it can be used for many dishes ranging from fish fingers to chicken Kiev.
Set a deep fat fryer to 180°C. If you don’t have a fryer, half-fill a pan with oil and heat until a sugar thermometer reaches 180°C. To tell if the oil is hot enough without the aid of a sugar thermometer, pop a cube of bread into the oil. If it goes very dark after 40 seconds, the oil is too hot. If the bread is pale and barely coloured, it needs a little more time to heat up.
First fry the cheese and sweetcorn croquettes in the oil for 2-3 minutes until they become crispy and golden brown in colour. Set these aside and then, fry the ham, pea and mint croquettes in the same way.
Use a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil from the croquettes. Serve along with some redcurrant jelly.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.