Croquettes are not something I make frequently as I find them a bit time-consuming and fidgety. Having said that, my taste buds are well rewarded for the effort. According to Wise Geek, croquettes originated during the Roman empire where they used a pastry-like coating around meat or vegetables to create a dish known as rissoles. This recipe spread throughout Europe over time, and by the early 18th century, the French were the first to use breadcrumbs in place of the traditional pastry coating.
adapted from Plenty
4 medium aubergines (eggplant)
2 medium russet potatoes, cooked, peeled and smashed
1 large egg, beaten
5 oz. feta, crumbled
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 garlic clove, crushed
about 1 3/4 cups dried breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
light olive oil, for frying
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Cut the aubergines into four long wedges and place them, skin side down, in an oven tray. Brush with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes, until cooked through and golden-brown. Use a sharp knife to shave the aubergine flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin, chop the flesh finely and place in a bowl – you should have about 280g of aubergine flesh.
In a bowl add the potato and mix with the eggplant. Then add the egg, cheese, garlic, four tablespoons of breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper. The mix should be quite wet and sticky.
Before cooking the croquettes, scatter some breadcrumbs on a plate and heat the frying oil in a medium saucepan – it should be about 1.5cm deep and not too hot (if the oil is too hot, the croquettes will brown before they are cooked through). Use a spoon to drop about a tablespoon’s worth of croquette mix on the breadcrumb plate, then turn around to cover. Use your fingers to shape into barrels (or any shape you like). Fry for a minute a side, until golden brown all over. Transfer to kitchen towel. Serve warm, with the salsa or just a wedge of lemon on the side.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: These were so good! You can use aioli (shown in photo) to dip the croquettes into or in a tomato salsa. I made aioli but used that for another dish as I wanted to try the Razing Cane garlic relish by Sizzling Sauces – a definite compliment to the croquettes. We nearly finished the bottle in one go! Enjoy!