This prawn croqueta is my personal favourite. We serve it at Bar Lourinhã with chilli salt and prawn oil but they taste great simply served with a garlicky mayo. Crumbing generally can be messy so I employ a couple of tricks. First the croqueta mixture is completely chilled so it's not sticky and easy to roll. Second, I set up a crumbing station with the flour, eggwash and breadcrumbs lined up in a row. When it comes to dipping the croqueta in the eggwash, use a large slotted spoon, so that the eggwash can drain away and your fingers stay clean for rolling in the breadcrumbs.
Croquetas are typically found in bars throughout Spain – they can be a few different styles and a multitude of flavours.
- 1 litre (4 cups) milk
- 3 prawn heads
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 175 g butter
- 225 g plain flour
- 500 g cooked prawns, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100 ml milk
- 250 g plain flour, extra, for dusting
- 500 g fine breadcrumbs
- olive oil, for deep-frying
- garlic mayonnaise, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Put the milk, prawn heads, garlic, shallot, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a heavy-based medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain, discarding solids and set aside.
Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and heat until just melted. Add the flour, stirring very well, increase the heat to high and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring vigorously all the time so as not to burn or colour the roux (the butter-flour mixture).
Reduce the heat to low and gradually stir in the strained milk till smooth, stirring continuously so you don't get any lumps.
Increase the heat to medium and continue stirring until it bubbles and starts to thicken.
Remove from the heat, add the prawn meat and mix well. Spread over a tray and chill in the fridge till completely cool.
While cooling, organise the crumbing station. Heavily season the flour and place in a shallow bowl. Combine the eggs and milk in another shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a tray or shallow bowl.
Once chilled, the croquet mixture should be quite thick and moist. Scoop about 50 g with a spoon and shape into a short cigar, dip in the flour, followed by the eggwash and then the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan to 160C. Deep-fry the croquetas, in batches, and cook until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Sprinkle the croquetas with sea salt and serve with a garlic mayonnaise.
Matt McConnell is the head chef at Bar Lourinhã. This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.
This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.