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River Cottage Australia

https://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/25500/croquettes-with-pancetta-and-thyme

LifestyleFOOD.com.au

A great canape or entree for any dinner party. 

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Ingredients

  • 600ml milk

  • 8 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

  • 8 bay leaves

  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 100g pancetta, diced into small chunks

  • 1 baby leek, finely diced

  • 60g butter, unsalted

  • 60g plain flour

  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely diced

  • ½ tbsp. thyme leaves, finely diced

  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

  • 30g Swiss cheese, finely grated

  • 100g flour

  • 2 eggs

  • 100g panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 litres vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

  • For the dipping sauce

  • 200ml home made mayonnaise

  • 2 tsp capers, rinsed and roughly chopped

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 2 tbsp dill, finely chopped

Method

  • 1.

    Begin by making the béchamel base for the croquettes.  Heat the milk, rosemary, bay leaves and garlic on a low heat for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours. Strain and set aside until needed.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, make the roux. Add a splash of olive oil to a large saucepan and gently fry the pancetta and leek for 10 minutes or until the leek has softened and the pancetta is crispy.   Add the butter, and when it has melted, add the flour. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

  • 3.

    Gradually pour the hot milk into the roux in 3 separate batches, stirring in-between each addition. Continue to stir until smooth. Cook gently for another 5 minutes, or until the béchamel has thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the parsley, thyme, nutmeg and Swiss cheese. Season and stir to combine.

  • 4.

    Pour the béchamel onto a flat baking tray. Allow to cool then transfer to a fridge for 10 minutes.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile, assemble the bread crumbing station. In three separate bowls, place the flour, lightly beaten eggs, and panko.

  • 6.

    For the dipping sauce, mix together the ingredients and set aside until needed.

  • 7.

    Place the oil into a deep saucepan, and heat to 180C.

  • 8.

    When the béchamel has cooled and is easy to handle, dust your hands with flour and roll the mix into the shape of a golf ball. If the mix becomes too soft to handle, return to the fridge until it is solid enough to handle.

  • 9.

    Cover the balls in flour, then beaten egg, and finally the panko mixture.

  • 10.

    When the oil has come up to temperature, fry the balls in small batches for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pot and transfer to a tray lined with paper towel.

  • 11.

    Serve hot with dipping sauce and wedges of lemon.

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