Smoky Croquettes

This is a less meaty take on traditional Dutch croquettes and makes a fabulous canapé when paired with a crisp glass of wine. The rolling/shaping of the croquettes are a bit finicky and you do have to be patient but trust me, you will be rewarded in taste!

200g mozzarella cheese
200g smoked bacon
80ml vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
750ml milk
160ml flour
10ml salt
30ml chives, chopped

100ml flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
250ml breadcrumbs
oil for deep frying

Grate the mozzarella into a mixing bowl and put aside.
Cut the bacon into chunks and add it to a saucepan with a dash of oil. Cook until done.
Spoon the bacon into the bowl with the grated mozzarella.
Place the same saucepan back onto medium heat and add the 80ml of vegetable oil and chopped onion. Simmer/fry the onion while stirring occasionally until it is soft and translucent.
In the meantime pour the milk into a jug and warm it slightly in your microwave oven.
Now add the 160ml flour to the onion and cook through for about a minute, stirring until it starts to bubble lightly.
Gradually pour in the warmed milk, stirring continuously.
Turn up the heat once all of the milk has been added. Keep stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.
Remove the mixture from the heat and add the salt, chives, bacon and mozzarella. Mix thoroughly.
Grease a large roasting tin and pour the croquette mixture into it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm.

Line up three bowls: add the flour to the first; the eggs to the second and the breadcrumbs to the third bowl.
Scoop a spoonful of the mixture into your hands, roll it into a small cylinder and then proceed to roll it in the flour. Dip it in the egg and finally into the breadcrumbs to coat completely.
Place the shaped and breaded croquettes on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Keep going in this way until all of the mixture has been utilised.
Heat some vegetable oil to 175℃ and fry a few croquettes at a time, until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm while cooking the rest.
Serve warm.

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