Our new menus give more than a glancing nod to Southrop’s Norman heritage, and our blackboard croquettes have proven to be a firm favourite with guests as a lunchtime treat, starter or a light-bite with a glass of fizz. From the French word croquer "to crunch", these little fried mouthfuls are filled with creamy mash and this month we are simply adding salt cod. This traditional preserving technique where fish is salted to remove moisture, results in a unique flavour and texture. Cod is one of the most popular fish eaten in the UK, so do look for the MSC mark to ensure that your fish doesn't come from depleted stocks; we are currently buying cod that is caught from small boats in The Shetland Islands, where the recovery of fish-stocks has been hugely successful.
- 200 g salt cod
- 200 g cooked & mashed potato (approx. 2 large)
- 600 ml milk
- ½ onion
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 peppercorns
- dash tabasco
- ½ egg, beaten (save the other half)
For the coating
- 150g flour
- 3½ beaten eggs
- 150g panko bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Rinse the salt cod really well & pat dry - you can leave the salt cod soaking overnight in the fridge.
- Place the potatoes in cold water and bring to the boil. When they are almost cooked through, put the milk on to simmer with the onion, bay & peppercorns.
- Poach the fish in the simmering milk, it won’t take long, around 3-4 minutes depending on the size of the pieces that go in. Gently lift the fish out & allow to cool until you are able to handle it.
- Drain the potatoes of all liquid & mash (do not add anything to the potatoes at this stage).
- Flake the flesh of the fish into a bowl, removing any skin or bones. Add an equal amount of mash & mix.
- Add ½ a beaten egg & a dash of tabasco. Then loosen the mix with a splash of the milk you cooked the fish in. Make sure the mix is stiff enough to handle yet loose & yielding.
- Allow the mix to cool completely.
For the coating
- Add the flour to one bowl, eggs in the next & panko in the last.
- Take a tablespoon of the mix, place it in the flour & coat. Lift it out, shake off any excess & place it in the egg. Once coated lift it out of the egg, shake off any excess & drop in the panko. Lift it out of the panko & set aside. Repeat the process for each croquette.
- If you have a home fryer set it to 180-200°c, if not use a deep pan & test the temperature by placing a croquette into the oil very carefully and it will bubble away. Cook 5-6 at a time. Lift out when golden brown & serve with mayonnaise or aioli.