These make a lovely starter or light yet sophisticated evening meal served with a crisp green salad and garlic mayonnaise for dipping. Manchego is a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese with a nutty flavour that complements the leek and melts well.
- 100ml chicken stock
- 300ml full-fat milk
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 75ml extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ a leek, washed and finely chopped
- 150g plain flour
- 300g cooked shredded duck, chilled
- 75g manchego, grated
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 75g panko breadcrumbs
- 200ml vegetable oil, for frying
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 4 heaped tbsp good quality mayonnaise
- To make the filling, first combine the stock, milk and nutmeg in a small pan. Bring to boiling point, then take off the heat. Put the olive oil in another saucepan on a low heat. Add the leek and sauté until soft, then stir in 75g of the flour and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until golden.
- Gradually add the warm milk and stock to the flour mixture, being careful to whisk everything into a smooth paste each time before adding more liquid. Once all the liquid is incorporated, continue to cook the sauce over a medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until it thickens to the consistency of mashed potato.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes before adding the shredded duck, manchego, mustard and paprika. Season and mix well, then pour the mixture onto a lined 30 by 20cm baking tray and spread out flat. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
- Set out three bowls, one for the remaining flour, one the the beaten eggs and one for the breadcrumbs. Cut the chilled croquette mixture in half lengthways and then into six widthways so you have 12 sections. Roll each section into a barrel shape.
- Dip each barrel first into the flour, then the eggs and then coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on a clean baking tray and repeat until they’re all done. Chill the coated croquettes for 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to cook the croquettes, preheat the oven to 200°c or 180°c fan. Put the vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, fry the croquettes on both sides until golden brown. Transfer them to a lined baking tray and finish cooking in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Stir the garlic into the mayonnaise, then serve it as a dip for the warm croquettes with a crisp green salad on the side.