26 May 2013

Aubergine Croquettes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty - IHCC



So while I was in the Hawke’s Bay last month & at the most wonderful supermarket I have ever come across in NZ I picked up some wonderful herbs from Epicurean Supplies.  It reminded me how wonderful all their produce is. I used to get their vegetable boxes delivered regularly & I can’t quite recall why I stopped.  It’s mostly organic, picked, packed & at my door in less than 24 hours.  So it is the freshest, most beautiful produce you are likely to come across.  I also like the surprise of not knowing what you are going to get, it adds a little variety to my cooking & pushes me to try new recipes or dishes.

So having bumped in to them it was time to get a little better reacquainted with Epicurean Supplies & it was a wonderful reunion.  I arrived home to a box packed full of Hawke’s Bay goodness...squash, baby pumpkin, cavolo nero, kale, swiss chard, potatoes, onions, beetroot, carrots, fennel, peppers, lettuce, micro greens & these baby aubergine.



Pumpkin was the star in some winter couscous, swiss chard made for some delicious fritters, kale went in to a frittata, more on both of these soon, & these purple little babies went in to some croquettes.

I should begin by confessing I am not a total lover of aubergines, I don’t really care for moussaka or a caponata.  I do however love them in my favourite breakfast. I do love the wonderfully smokey baba ganoush that Queenies serve up with their Turkish Eggs, which reminds me a return trip must be in order.

So when I came across this recipe that combined roasted, smokey aubergine with mashed potato that was coated in bread crumbs it was a temptation  I couldn’t resist.

Aubergine Croquettes from Ottolenghi’s Plenty

Makes four starter portions

Ingredients

4 medium aubergines, or a bunch of little baby ones
280g cooked floury potatoes, peeled & roughly smashed with a fork
1 egg, beaten
20g Parmesan, grated
140g feta, crumbled
1/2 tsp salt
About 200g white breadcrumbs
Rice bran oil, for frying
4 lemon wedges, to serve


Directions

Firs burn the aubergines, yes burn the aubergines.  You can do them on a gas hob or if you don’t have one pop them on to a foil lined tray & in the oven under the grill for 40 minutes to 1 hour, turning them a few times until they are blackened. Remove from the heat & allow them to cool.  Once cooled, scoop out the flesh avoiding the blackened skin.  Place the flesh in a colander & allow to drain for 30 minutes.

Place the aubergine flesh in a large bowl & add the potatoes, egg, feta, Parmesan, salt & a little pepper.  Mix together gently with a fork until it just comes together.  Add half the bread crumbs, just enough for the mixture to hold together.


Remove the mix from the bowl & divide in to 4.  Roll each quarter in to a long, thick sausage about 2.5cm in diameter.  Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs on a plate & roll each sausage in them until they are completely coated  Place on a tray & pop in to the fridge to firm up for at least 20 minutes.

To cook the croquettes cut each sausage in to 5cm long barrel shaped pieces. Pour the rice bran oil in to a frying pan, about 1.5cm deep.  Heat the oil & fry the croquettes in small batches, turning & cooking for 2-3 minutes until golden all over. Drain on kitchen paper & serve straight away with some lemon wedges.



Crunchy on the outside, fluffy, smokey insides...that is all. Croquette perfection.




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Enjoy!

11 comments:

  1. Mairi, your last line sums it up perfectly - croquette perfection indeed. Can't wait to give these a try - I love that smokey flavour that comes from burning the aubergines.

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    1. Oh yes Sue I think you'll like these....perfect comfort food :)

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  2. My favorite foods are crunchy on the outside, creamy/soft on the inside. Reading your description has made me very interested in this recipe! I was never wild about eggplant until my son came along. He is fond of it. This is something I will have to try!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, crunchy outside soft inside...one of life's simple pleasures :) And I do think this could make a convert of some the no aubergine lovers :)

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  3. These do have to be the most perfect croquettes ever--the pictures just make my mouth water! I used to not like eggplant at all but have come to love it in the right dishes. Great pick!

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    1. Thanks Deb, can't really beat a good croquette & I think this may be the best way to have aubergine :)

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  4. I love aubergine, and this looks wonderful! What a delicious way of using aubergine! Great potluck choice!

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    1. Thanks, so hard for pot luck with so much choice!

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  5. I would love to arrive home and find a box of seasonal veggies like you described. I've only had aubergine a handful of times (I've never actually cooked with it at home). I have a feeling this is the dish to try first! I can't resist a crispy crust with creamy interior. Not to mention the sharp tang from the feta cheese. They look perfect!!

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    1. Thanks Kim, yes very lucky to have such amazing veggies. The pick them pack them & send them....straight from grower to me so they are just the freshest most wonderful veg....go hand in hand with Ottolenghi really :) They are a match made in heaven.

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  6. People need to eat more fresh vegetables

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