Croquettes are an absolute doddle, and one of my favourite ways to use up leftover vegetables that might otherwise go soft at the bottom of the fridge. They are filling and light on the purse strings which, when you are trying to stretch your food budget as far as possible, is the perfect combination.
I like to serve mine with home-made sweet chilli mayo and a light crispy salad in the warmer summer months, and sweet and sour red cabbage when it’s a bit chillier.
For this recipe I use maize flour as a coating as it forms this lovely crispy outer shell to house the filling. You can of course use breadcrumbs instead.
Prep time: 1 hour
1 tin 185g tuna
2 large potatoes
1 celery stick
1 clove garlic
Smattering of herbs (dill, parsley, tarragon all work equally well)
2 cups maize flour
Canola oil for frying
Salt and pepper
Peel and boil the potatoes.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan heat a decent glug of oil over a medium heat. Fry off the roughly chopped onions, celery and carrot until they are slightly soft, but without caramelisation. Then set aside in a large mixing bowl and add the tuna, herbs and raw crushed garlic. Mix well.
Once the potatoes are cooked mash them well and combine thoroughly with the tuna mix. Season with salt and pepper. Once cool, form into about 8 patties.
In a bowl lightly whisk up 3 eggs.
On a separate plate pour out 2 cups of maize flour. Next, individually dip the patties first into the egg, then the maize flour. Repeat this process so the patties have a double coating of egg and maize*.
To fry, pour canola oil into a heavy based frying pan until it reaches about half way up the side (your oil needs to be at 180 degrees Celsius when you start frying the patties). When the oil reaches temperature, gently drop in the patties one by one, but don’t overcrowd the pan as this will lower the oil temperature and the croquettes will end up oily and soggy.
Fry until golden and crispy (about 5 minutes on each side). Drain the croquettes on paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt.
*Handy hint: Once you have “crumbed” the patties they will likely stick to the plate and tear the coating when you pick them up. Simply rest them on a light bed of the maize flour to avoid this.
Instead of potato use a thick white sauce and add plenty of lemon zest and flat leaf parsley.
Remove the tuna for a vegetarian option. Add grated cauliflower and a tsp each of fried ground cumin and coriander instead.
Accompany with sauce Gribiche. This is basically tartare sauce (capers, cornichons, mayonnaise) with boiled eggs mixed through.