Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bacon & Cheese Croquetas with Naylor's Pinnacle Blonde

I love tapas, I really do. Although little morsels of goodness can range from easy to time-consuming to make, you very rarely get any result other than delicious. This week, we gave Croquetas a go.
I used bacon and smoked cheese to fill mine, but you can use fish, shellfish (crab is really good) or chicken. In fact, you can pretty much use any filling you like. I knocked up another couple of side-dishes using what was in the fridge at the time, and I'll share those with you too. All the measures for the ingredients are rough - I just use handfuls here and there, to be honest. Go with what you think. Sorry!
Ps - you can use mashed potato to fill these with - I just prefer the denser bechamel filling.

Bacon and Cheese Croquetas

You will need:
About 100g smoked cheese - I used Swaledales' Smoked
4 rashers of smoked bacon, streaky.
A panful of Bechamel sauce (probably about 400g)
Some fresh breadcrumbs (white bread)
Parsley, crushed black pepper to season.
1 beaten egg.
Oil to fry in.

Ok - easy recipe - but you need to do it in stages.
1. Make the bechamel as you would normally do - add plain flour to melted butter to make a roux, then add milk. You want to keep it thick; not runny. Add the cheese, combine, then season the mix with the herbs and pepper. Leave to cool - at least an hour.
2. Slice the bacon into small chunks and fry off in a little oil. Add these to your mix.

There you go - the filling is done. But it must be left to cool because you can't handle it hot. The bechamel will thicken, and turn into a kind of dough. That's why it needs to be thick!
In the meantime, you can beat the egg in a bowl and blitz your stale bread into breadcrumbs.

3. When cool, use your hands to grap a chunk of the mixture, shape into balls or a sausage shape. Dip in the egg, then roll in the crumbs. Set on a plate and repeat until finished. I had about 12.
4. Place the croquetas in the fridge and leave to set - the longer the better. I left them for an hour.
5. When ready to eat, heat your oil and deep fry until golden. Leave to drain and serve!

Now, I used up some fridge-food to make some little sides for this. We made a salad of Avocado, fresh Plum tomatoes and Jalepeno chillies. Also, we sauteed some slices of Chorizo in olive oil and garlic, adding a sliced Onion to bulk it up. Once the onions had softened, a splash of Balsamic vinegar went in.
Secondly, we sauteed some Prawns and Mussels in olive oil, a touch of butter,loads more Garlic and a splash of lemon juice. This made the second side-dish.

And to drink - Naylor's Pinnacle Blonde. In my opinion, their best beer, this bottle-conditioned gem has a underlying sweet caramel and toffee aroma, but surprises on the palate with some firm fruit qualities - think peach, if that makes sense. The little wheat that it has in it really smoothes the body out, making this a perfect match for the bold flavours of the meal.


Anonymous said...

When you say "share them with you" do you mean you will have a tupperware box full when you meet Grumpy John & me & the lads on the 6th. Oh I do hope so.

Katie said...

I love croquetas and yours look ace! Im inspired. Im really enjoying your blog.

superfinefeline said...

Thanks for the cool recipe!

I've tagged you for a meme and hope that you'll participate by posting 6 random facts about yourself in a blog entry.

More details are available here

I hope that you will keep the ball rolling.


Leigh said...

Bigun - never rule anything out when it comes to bar treats!! Katie, Feline, thanks for your comments, I'll see what I can do with that Meme but I have actually done it before and i'm not sure the general public can stand another fact-a thon- about lil' ol' me!

Anonymous said...

I'm keen for sharing too! Do you post to Australia? :)

Leigh said...

looks like i've found my niche! mail-order Croqueta!