Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I've considered what I'm about to say and.. well.

At first I thought maybe its bad form to talk junk about the food you just made but then i thought, I made this cockamamie blog to contribute my thoughts and part of the experience is trying new recipes and some of those recipes might be less than ideal and by George, I'm gonna say what I think.
so. now that i've released that run-on into the world, let me say this. Benny loved this recipe. Which was the real goal. I wanted to make him something he would be excited about. And its not the recipe I have a problem with, (Almost Bourdain is very good, and a lovely lady I'm sure) so much as the kroketten itself.

For the sake of illustration, I will ask you to try to imagine if someone handed you a freshly fried mozzarella stick ok? It looks delicious as they always do, and upon taking it you realize that its quite.. mushy. So you take a bite into it and its filled with, not delicious cheese, but a soft paste made out of meat, spices, and bechamel sauce (containing flour and butter). Too much? I think so too. With that said, don't they look delicious?

But I'm told this is exactly how they are supposed to taste and I consider that a success. We now have 24 of the floppy little buggers hanging out in our fridge. I'm sure that will feed Benny for a week, which pleases me.

The report is that Benny told his mother that I had made them and that I thought they were weird and she said "so they're probably spot on then." A big plus is that I have this in my "Benny's parents are coming to town" repertoire now. Considering that said repertoire is pretty much empty, I am grateful.

Anyway, if a mushy meat-filled cheese stick sounds good to you, you are going to love these.

Since that doesn't sound good to me, directly following this will be our recipe for my favorite fried meat-filled delicacy. Pangseet. You can never go wrong with the stuff. So easy and - its made out of ingredients we usually have lying around so its our go-to snack when we're feeling like firing up the ol fryer.

Almost Bourdain

* = My Additions/Changes

Makes 24

50 g butter
50 g plain flour
1 cup hot milk
300 g leftover cold roast beef, finely chopped, minced or whizzed in a food processor *We used ground beef
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp ketjap manis (A lot of Dutch food has strong Indonesian influence. Hence the use of ketjap manis in flavouring. Conimex is one of the favourite Dutch brands)

1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves (*We added a bit of cloves and skipped the thyme)
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Crumb Coating:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
2 cups breadcrumbs
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil for deep-frying


1. Melt the butter in a small, heavy-based saucepan. Stir in the flour to make a paste (roux), and cook, stirring all the time, for about 3 minutes. Gradually mix in the hot milk to make a bechamel sauce. Bring to the boil, them lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to get rid of the floury taste. Add a pinch of salt to season then tip the bechamel into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.

2. Place the remaining ingredients into a food processor and whiz until smooth.

3. Tip into the mixing bowl with the cool bechamel sauce and stir in well to form a thick paste. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hour until chilled.

4. Form the croquette mixture into chunky little logs (3 x 10 cm) - you should get about 24 in total.

5. Whisk the egg and milk together and set up a little production line of 3 dishes containing the flour, the egg mixture and the breadcrumbs.

6. Roll the croquettes in the flour first, then dip them into the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs so they are evenly coated. For an extra-crunchy coating dip the croquettes into the egg and breadcrumbs for a second time then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

7. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or a heavy-based frying pan to 180C. Preheat the oven to 100C. Fry the croquettes in batches until golden brown all over, about 5 minutes. Drain briefly on a wire rack and transfer to the oven to keep warm while you fry the remaining croquettes. Serve with Dutch mustard for dipping.


We served this peanut sauce

These also kept pretty well in the fridge for a late night snack

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