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Nici Wickes: Leek and cauliflower croquettes

Nici Wickes,
Publish Date
Sat, 20 Apr 2024, 10:08am

Nici Wickes: Leek and cauliflower croquettes

Nici Wickes,
Publish Date
Sat, 20 Apr 2024, 10:08am

For those who are taking Anzac Day off next week and are looking for something to make over the long weekend, these could be worth a try. 



½ leek, diced and gently sautéed 

1 cup cauliflower florets, finely diced 

20g butter + 50g butter 

4 heaped tbsps. plain flour 

300mls milk 

Pinch white pepper 

50g hard cheese (cheddar or machego are good options) 

1 egg 

extra flour for coating 

¾ cup breadcrumbs 



1. In a pot, melt the 20g butter on a low heat, add the leeks and cook until softened. Add in cauliflower and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.  

2. Melt the 50g butter then add flour and stir to form a paste. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, then slowly add the milk, stirring or whisking until there are no lumps. Increase the heat slightly and stir until the sauce is a thickened and the flour has completely cooked – you shouldn’t be able to detect any flour when you taste it. 

3. Add the pepper, cheese, leeks and cauliflower and stir to combine. Taste to make sure it has enough seasoning. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely. It will be very thick once cooled. 

4. Set up three plates, one with a beaten egg, one with seasoned flour and one with breadcrumbs. 

5. Begin to shape the croquettes by rolling tablespoonfuls of the cooled béchamel into small sausage shapes. Roll each one in flour, then egg, then in the breadcrumbs and set aside. 

6. Fill a medium sized pot with enough cooking oil to come halfway up the pot and turn it to medium heat. Focus and do not leave the pot for a minute! 

7. Once hot enough (small currants will form on the bottom of the pot but it will not reach smoking point), begin to cook the croquettes, 3-5 at a time by lowering them into the oil with a slotted spoon. If your oil is not hot enough they will sink and melt, instead of floating and frying, so trial one first. 

8. Fry in batches until each is golden brown all over (turn them if you need to but they often do it themselves). Remove and drain on paper towel and serve immediately. 


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