You can form these crispy shrimp fritters into smaller bite-size croquettes to be served as part of an hors d’oeuvre selection.
Serves: 10Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hours 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- ¼ small onion, peeled
- 1 clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1¼ cup all-purpose flour, divided
- ⅛ tsp. ground white pepper
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 12 oz. cooked shrimp, chopped
- 1 extra-large egg, beaten
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 2 cups peanut oil
- Poke the clove into the quarter onion and place the onion and the bay leaf in a saucepan with the milk. Heat the milk over medium-high to scalding (not quite boiling) and then remove it from the heat. Let steep for 15 minutes, then remove and discard the onion and bay leaf.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan, add ¾ cup flour, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. This will make a stiff roux. Gradually add the hot milk to the roux on the heat and whisk with a wire whip for 3 to 5 minutes to smooth out lumps. The roux will absorb the milk as it cooks and become a very thick béchamel sauce, which will be the base for the croquettes.
- Remove the béchamel from the heat and stir in the white pepper, nutmeg, and chopped shrimp. Spread the mixture out onto a plastic-lined baking sheet, cover the top directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours.
- Arrange a production line for coating the croquettes by putting the ½ cup flour on a plate, the beaten egg mixed with salt in a bowl, and the breadcrumbs on a plate.
- When the shrimp filling has cooled remove the plastic from the top and cut the filling into twenty equal portions. Roll each portion into a cylinder, then roll it in the flour, dip it in the egg, and roll it in the breadcrumbs. Place it on a tray and repeat with the rest of the filling.
- Put the peanut oil in a deep pot or deep fryer and heat it to 375°F. Fry the croquettes in four to five batches for a minute or two, until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.