Here is another of my healthy lockdown creations, made with a surprising ingredient – oats! Oats are a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. I use oats as a breakfast dish for lots of customers at the hotel, but they make a very tasty and satisfying addition to these croquettes. They make a great snack or appetiser, and also work well as finger food.
1 cup porridge oats
1 cup chopped cooked ham
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 vegetable stock cube
4 tbs chopped spring onion
4 tbs grated hard cheese ( any, but I use parmigiana)
5 tbs chopped parsley
3 tbs chopped onion
1 medium carrot (peeled and diced)
2 tbs olive oil
4 tbs plain four
2 egg whites
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Make a béchamel
2 tbs butter, 4 tbs flour, 1 cup cold milk
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour, mix well and cook for a few moments. Remove from the heat and add the cold milk a little at a time until the sauce thickens. You will need 1/2 cup of béchamel for the recipe.
Boil the water and dissolve the vegetable stock cube. Cook the porridge oats until they are cooked but not runny. Keep on one side. Heat the oil, add the onion and cook until soft. Then add the ham and raw carrot. In a bowl, mix all the rest of the ingredients together and add the béchamel a little at a time. Roll the mixture up with clingfilm (see photo) and keep in the fridge for one hour. Arrange three shallow bowls, one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs, and the other with the breadcrumbs.
Take out the rolled mixture and separate with a knife into even sized shapes as you like them. Coat with flour, then with egg wash, and finally with breadcrumbs. Fry until golden brown. Serve with garlic mayo and mustard.
© Ajith Perera. All rights reserved.