- 500g firm white fish fillets, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 lemons, rind finely grated
- 1 (275g) whole smoked mackerel or kipper, head removed
- 500ml (2 cups) fish stock
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
- 580ml (2 1/3 cups) milk
- 150g butter
- 150g (1 cup) plain flour
- 100g plain flour, extra
- 1 tablespoon good-quality horseradish sauce or cream
- 2 teaspoons hot English mustard
- 200g fresh breadcrumbs
- 6 eggs
- Vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- Horseradish creme fraiche, to serve (see Notes)
- Step 1Grease the base and sides of a 20 x 30cm (base measurement) slice pan and line with baking paper. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place white fish, salt, thyme, garlic and rind from 2 lemons in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight to marinate.
- Step 2Remove and reserve skin and bones from smoked fish. Discard blood line. Finely chop flesh. Set aside. Bring stock and reserved bones and skin to the boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Set aside for 15 minutes to infuse. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Discard solids.
- Step 3Bring, fennel, coriander, white fish and 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stand for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Flake fish into a bowl. Strain milk mixture into fish stock.
- Step 4Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Slowly add stock mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in white fish, smoked fish, horseradish, mustard, remaining rind and juice from 1 lemon. Season. Pour into prepared pan. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight until firm.
- Step 5Roll fish mixture into 32 balls. Place breadcrumbs and extra flour in separate bowls. Whisk egg and remaining milk in a bowl. Roll balls in flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs. Repeat dipping in egg mixture and breadcrumbs to double coat. Place on prepared tray. Place in fridge for 20 minutes or until firm.
- Step 6Pour enough oil into a saucepan to come halfway up the side. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 160C on a cook’s thermometer. Cook, in batches, for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Serve with horseradish creme fraiche.
There’s nothing better than dunking these croquettes into horseradish creme fraiche.
To make, just mix 250g creme fraiche with 1 tablespoon of horseradish sauce and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and the finely grated rind of 1 lemon. Use a horseradish sauce with a high percentage of actual horseradish – it will add a big punch of flavour.
- Author: Colin Fassnidge
- Image credit: Brett Stevens
- Publication: Taste Magazine