Sweet Potato and Chorizo Croquettes
Deciding which croquette recipe to put in the book was tough. It came down to a vote and this recipe won by a nose. We adore croquettes at Caravan and have always had them on the menus with many different variations over the years. To ensure a great result with these, make sure the sweet potato is dry after baking and not soggy. If the sweet potato appears wet, strain off any excess liquid before mixing it though the bechamel sauce and chorizo. The bechamel sauce should also be lovely and thick before using - allowing it to cool completely will make it easier to shape the croquettes.
|500g||sweet potatoes (2-3 medium)|
|300g||cooking chorizo, skinned|
|50g||plain flour, plus extra for dusting|
|2||spring onions, thinly sliced|
|5||eggs, lightly whisked|
|panko breadcrumbs, for crumbing|
|rapeseed oil, for deep-frying|
|sea salt and black pepper|
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, then place the sweet potatoes on a roast ing tray and bake in their skins for about 40 minutes, or until soft all the way through. Allow to cool and then cut them in half length ways and scoop out the flesh. Mash the flesh with a fork and set aside (you should get about 250g mashed sweet potato).
2. Meanwhile place the chorizo in another roasting tray or ovenproof pan and roast in the same oven for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool then place in a food processor and pulse until the chorizo is the texture of very coarse crumbs. Set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and tip in the flour, then return to a medium heat and stir continuously for around 4 minutes to 'cook out' the flour. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in half the milk; it will bubble and thicken immediately, so keep stirring to avoid any lumps forming. Add the remaining milk to the pan, return to a low heat and continue to stir as the mixture thickens. Cook for 4-5 minutes to produce a thick white sauce that will make up the base for the croquettes. Set aside to cool completely.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the chorizo, 250g sweet potato mash and the white sauce until all is combined. Add the spring onions, season with salt and pepper and mix again.
5. Set 3 large bowls out in front of you on the work surface: some flour for dusting in one, the beaten egg in another and the panko breadcrumbs in the third. Use a set of scales to weigh out 25 x 30g balls then roll them in the bowl of flour and toss to make sure they get an even coating. Dip each floured ball in the beaten egg and then roll in the crumbs. Place all the crumbed croquettes in a single layer on a large tray and chill in the fridge until ready to fry.
6. If you have a deep fryer, turn it on and heat the oil to 170°C. Fry the croquettes in batches for about 4-5 minutes until golden and crispy - do not overcrowd the pan. If you do not have a deep fryer, see the deep-frying notes on page 288. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and serve hot. They work particularly well with saffron aioli, which you can find a recipe for on page 274 of the Caravan cookbook.