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Introduction

One of the UK’s most recognizable chefs, Rick Stein is famous for his restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, (known as Padstein locally) and his expertise in seafood. He is a television regular, most recently appearing in Rick Stein’s India and Rick Stein’s German Bite.

Method

Method for croquettes

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the ham and leave to cook gently for a minute or two to soften.
  2. Stir in 110g/4oz of the flour and cook for 1 minute, then very gradually stir in the milk, a little at a time, beating really well between each addition so that the mixture becomes silky smooth.
  3. Increase the heat slightly, bring to the boil, and leave to cook gently, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes, to cook out the flour.
  4. Stir in the chicken and 1 teaspoon of salt or to taste, then stir in the hard-boiled egg.
  5. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, press a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface, and chill in the fridge, for at least 6 hours but ideally overnight, until really firm.
  6. Shape 1 ½ tablespoons of the chilled mixture between lightly floured palms into balls and then cork-shaped barrels. You should make about 24. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat some oil for deep-frying to 190°C. putting the remaining 75g of flour, egg and breadcrumbs into 3 separate, shallow trays or bowls.
  8. Take the croquettes from the fridge and dip them 4 or 5 at a time into the flour, then the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs, then lower them into the hot oil and cook for not quite 2 minutes until crisp and lightly golden. You can tell when they are done because as they cook, to make a different noise in the fryer.
  9. Lift out onto plenty of kitchen paper and drain briefly. Serve while they are still hot.

Method for salad

  1. Remove and discard the outer leaves of the lettuce if necessary. Break the remainder into approximately 7cm pieces, wash and dry well, in a salad spinner if you have one.
  2. Spread the leaves over 4 medium-sized plates and arrange the tomatoes, onion and asparagus on top.
  3. Scatter the flaked tuna over the centre of each plate.
  4. Whisk the red wine vinegar and olive oil together with the salt to taste and drizzle over the salads.
  5. Garnish with the hard-boiled eggs and green olives.

To serve

  1. Pile the hot croquettes straight onto a plate with a spoonful of salad alongside.