Spinach and Wild Mushroom Pesto Croquettas
Prep 10 minutesCooking 30 minutes8 people
An indulgent and flavour-filled recipe that is perfect for festive nibbles. Packed with mushrooms, spinach, and a dollop of our Wild Mushroom Pesto, this canapee is sure to impress on a cold winters' evening!
- ½ litre whole milk
- 7g dried mushrooms – shitake or cep, or mix of both
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- 400g fresh spinach, washed
- 60g butter
- 65g plain flour
- 1 jar wild mushroom pesto
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 150g panko breadcrumbs
- 4 eggs
- Splash milk
- 1 ½ litres sunflower/rapesed oil for frying
- Place the milk in a medium pan with the garlic and dried mushroom and place on a high heat to bring to the boil. Whisk frequently to prevent the milk burning on the base. Once boiled, remove from the heat and allow to infuse.
- Place a large pot or pan on a high heat and when hot add the spinach and season with salt. Stir frequently until all the spinach has wilted, then remove into a colander to drain. Once cool, squeeze the spinach of excess water and finely chop.
- Pass the milk through a sieve into a jug or bowl. The mushrooms can be added to the mix, but they can sometimes be gritty, so try one and judge for yourself. If using, finely chop.
- Place a medium pan on a medium heat, add the butter and when melted whisk in the flour gradually, till you have a paste. Now slowly add the milk, again whisking constantly, till all of it is incorporated. Continue to whisk for 10 minutes with the bechamel gently bubbling (if the heat is too low it won’t cook out the flour), so it appears smooth and glossy. When tasted, it shouldn’t taste of flour, or be grainy on your tongue. If necessary, continue to cook.
- Remove from the heat. With a spoon or spatula, stir through the pesto, salt, spinach and mushrooms, if using. Season with black pepper and a little grated or ground nutmeg, then taste. Add more pepper or nutmeg as you wish. Scrape the mix into a container and cover with a layer or parchment to prevent a skin forming, then place in the fridge to cool completely.
- Take the mix from the fridge. Prepare a tray with parchment and have a large spoon in hot water ready. Scoop out a spoonful then with wet hands, quickly roll into balls 3-4cm wide and place on a tray. Alternatively, use two spoons to shape into oval quenelles (look on YouTube about how to do this). Place back in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Set up a coating station by getting three medium bowls ready. In the first put a 4 large spoonful of flour. In the second, break the eggs, add a splash of milk then whisk till thoroughly mixed. In the third, add the panko breadcrumbs. Working in batches of 4-6, roll the croquettes through the flour, dust of any excess then coat in the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs. The key here is to keep a spoon in each bowl and not to mix them and also try to keep your hands clean. Store the croquettes in a container between layers of parchment and panko breadcrumbs, 1-2 layers high as otherwise they can get squashed. Keep in the fridge till ready to cook
- When you wish to cook, place the sunflower oil in a high sided pot and place on a medium to high heat. Use a temperature probe to check the temperature, which needs to be around 170C. Fry in batches till light golden brown, around 3-4 minutes, place on kitchen paper to absorb grease then serve straight away.