This recipe came about after I was instantly besotted with one of the tapas at Delicado Foods in McMahons Point. Not only was every dish really good but it was the croquette that won my tastebuds that day. A simple filling of beetroot and goat cheese, crumbed and snap fried. A divine creaminess on the tongue and an accompanying sauce that’s normally eaten as a cold soup. I recreated the salmorejo here so now it was time to put my hands to the star of the show.
Very simple, really. It took little thought to figure this one out. Finely grated cooked beetroot mixed with goat cheese. Flour, egg, crumbs, hot oil. Done! Teamed with the salmorejo, something you can make the day before, your tongue will be doing pleasured back-flips in no time.
Grate the beetroot very finely using a microplane. Measure 6 tablespoons of the grated beetroot and set aside. Any excess can be used in a salad. If you don’t quite make 6 tablespoons it doesn’t matter either.
Using a fork, mash up the goat cheese in a mixing bowl. Add the grated beetroot and mix until well incorporated. Using a ¼ cup as a measure, roll the mixture into rough balls and place onto a large plate. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to firm up.
Place the flour, beaten egg and panko in three separate bowls. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Remove the beetroot & goat cheese balls from the fridge and quickly shape into perfect balls. One by one coat each ball in the flour, dunk into the egg and finally roll well in the panko. Repeat with the remaining balls. A couple at a time, fry the croquettes in the oil until golden brown, being careful as you turn them as they may split and burst open. Drain on paper towels as you fry the remaining croquettes.
Serve hot with a good dollop of salmorejo. Garnish with herbs, if you wish.