Tuna and Sweetcorn Croquetas

  • Time: 1.5 hours plus resting time in fridge
  • Serves: 6
  • Level: easy

Everybody loves a croqueta. However, I know from my own experience that they can be rather intimidating to make, even though the recipe is based on one of the most fundamental of kitchen techniques – a bĂ©chamel sauce.  Sure, they can be a little fussy to make, but once you taste the amazing result, you will never doubt that they are well worth the effort of making from scratch.

Rick Stein, the television chef, made his version of croquetas on one of his programmes. He mentioned repeatedly that they go well with beer. He’s was right.

Your favourite combo, tuna and sweetcorn, now brought to you in the form of delectible croquetas!

What you need

Makes about 30 depending on size

700ml whole milk

100g butter

120 flour

1 small can sweetcorn (165g drained)

1 large can tuna chunks in water (150g drained)

2 bay leaves

A few peppercorns

Half a medium onion

Good bunch of parsley stalks

1lt vegetable oil

2 large eggs

Bowl of flour

Couple bowls of panko breadcrumbs

Lemons



How Dad Cooked It

There is somewhat of a debate regarding the consistency of the inside of a croqueta. Recipes all vary. Certainly, a stiffer mixture is easier to handle and cook, but purists seem to prefer a liquid centre. My ratios make a mixture that is still fluid but has a slight firmness. If you prefer it runny, add more milk or less flour.

  1. Pour the milk into a pan and add the milk, bay leaves, peppercorns, onion and parsley stalks. Bring to a boil and then take off the heat and leave to infuse for half an hour.
  2. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed and large saucepan. Then add the flour and make a thick roux. Cook this on a low heat for a minute or two, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and cool for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally. Strain the milk into the roux in stages, combining and mixing the roux until smooth at each stage to make a béchamel. Heat the béchamel gently but thoroughly, stirring constantly. Season with a good pinch of salt and grated black pepper. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the corn. I like to chop roughly or blitz for a moment in an electric chopper to take some of the whole kernel-ness out of the corn. Either way add the drained whole – or chopped – kernels to the bĂ©chamel and mix well. Drain the tuna and add this to the bĂ©chamel, mix thoroughly but try to keep the tuna in as many chunks as possible. Lightly grease a deep rectangular baking dish (maximum 30cm x 20cm). Scrape the bĂ©chamel into the dish and spread out evenly. Cover with parchment paper and press down. When completely cool, place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Beat the eggs in a bowl; add the flour to another bowl and the panko to another. Cut the béchamel with a knife into grid of small croqueta-sized rectangles. Scoop out each piece with a spoon and form into a neat cylinder shape, put about 3 into the flour and roll to cover evenly, dip each into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs, set aside on a large plate. Continue with the rest of the salmon béchamel.
  5. In a large saucepan, pour an amount of oil to the depth of a croqueta and heat to 180C. Fry the croquetas in batches until lightly browned all over. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen towels.
  6. Serve hot with lemon wedges and a glass of beer.
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