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How To Cook Ham and Leek Croquettes with Saffron Mayonnaise

How To Cook Ham and Leek Croquettes with Saffron Mayonnaise


By Jeff Baker

"Having begun his career in a professional kitchen in 1983, Jeff Baker has since cooked for the Queen, and worked alongside some of the world’s top chefs, such..."

A moreish snack made with free-range Ripon Cathedral Ham. This recipe is ideal for using up any leftover Christmas ham.

Method for the Croquettes:

  1. Start by shredding the ham as finely as possible.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter melts, add the leek and sauté gently for a couple of minutes without colouring.
  3. Over a medium heat gradually stir in the flour then cook out for a few minutes to create a roux.
  4. Next, slowly stir in the hot milk and cook for approximately 10 minutes over a low heat stirring continuously until you have a thick paste.
  5. Fold through the Gruyere cheese, shredded ham and season to taste with nutmeg, sea salt and ground white pepper.
  6. Put the béchamel on a tray, covering with parchment paper and allow to cool for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  7. With three bowls; add a little flour into the first, the beaten egg in the second and the breadcrumb mixed with Parmesan in the third.
  8. With floured hands, divide the mixture into even balls (between 16 & 24 pieces), roll through flour, then the egg, and finally roll in the breadcrumbs until well coated.
  9. Heat the oil in a large pan to 180°C and fry the croquettes in small batches – 4 to 6 pieces at a time for a couple of minutes until golden brown – then lift out with a slotted spoon and serve at once.

Serving Suggestion:

  • Serve with saffron mayo for snacks or a seasonal salad for a light lunch or supper.

Method for the Saffron Mayonnaise:

  1. Put the egg, mustard, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt in a small food processor bowl. Once you start the machine and the motor is running, start adding the oil in a slow, steady trickle, followed by the saffron strands in water until smooth and thick.
  2. Transfer to a clean jar, seal and refrigerate. This will keep for up to one week.

  • The Ingredients
  • For the Croquettes:
  • • 150g cooked ham
  • • 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • • 60g unsalted butter
  • • 60g plain flour plus extra for rolling
  • • ½ small leek, finely diced
  • • 450ml full fat milk, hot
  • • 50g Gruyere cheese (grated)
  • • Pinch grated Nutmeg
  • • 1 x Bay leaf
  • • 2 F/R eggs, beaten
  • • 150g panko breadcrumbs
  • • 25g Parmesan (optional)
  • • Sea salt & ground white pepper
  • • Sunflower oil, to fry
  • For the Saffron Mayo:
  • • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • • Pinch salt
  • • 150ml sunflower oil
  • • 75 ml olive oil
  • • Pinch saffron soaked in a teaspoon of warm water

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