30 March 2015

Salmon, Potato & Cheese Croquette

This is my son's absolute favourite home-cook dish for the past few months. He would request for it every week but I try not to over-indulge and cook it probably fortnightly. I first came across the recipe shared at Singapore Home Cooks FB page and thought that the little rascal would definitely like it coz it consists of his favourite foods like potato and cheese and it's crispy!
Salmon is a healthy food too, high in omega-3 and vitamin D. My family doesn't really enjoy salmon in cooked form; we like it better in sashimi. Somehow the fishy odour and taste accentuates after cooking. But with the addition of potato and cheese, the strong taste is slightly masked.

As the kiddo didn't like vegetables, I decided to adapt the recipe and added vegetables so that he would eat them unknowingly. Haha. I tried cauliflower and carrot since these are easy to mash (once cooked) and complementary to the rest of the ingredients. I guess other types of vegetables like broccoli or pumpkin should work well too. Didn't add any other seasonings since the ingredients are flavourful enough.

Ingredients are simple - salmon, potato, cauliflower, carrot, sliced cheddar cheese and cream cheese. First steam the salmon, potato, cauliflower and carrot till cooked. Thereafter mash them up and tear the cheddar cheese slices into small pieces and add in the mixture. Then take about a (big) fish ball size of mixture, place a small cube of cream cheese in the middle, close up, roll into a ball and flatten into a patty. Refrigerate to firm up the patties.

To cook, coat the patties in corn starch, dip in slightly beaten egg and then coat generously with breadcrumbs. Shallow fry the patties till both sides are golden brown and drain on kitchen towel. Best served warm, although the croquettes stay crispy for up to an hour.

Salmon, Potato & Cheese Croquette
(makes 25 pieces of 1.5-2" diameter)

  • 200g Salmon fillet (advisable to use the tail end where they are no bones or carefully remove the bones before steaming)
  • 200g Potato (use Russet potato for more creamy texture), cut into slices
  • 100g Cauliflower, separate into florets
  • 100g Carrot, cut into slices
  • 2 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 25 cubes Cream cheese (about 8-10mm)
  • Corn flour/starch, egg, bread crumbs, cooking oil (I use grapeseed oil)
  1. Steam the salmon, potato, cauliflower and carrot till fork tender. The salmon takes about 15 mins, cauliflower and carrot about 20 mins and potato about 25 mins.
  2. Place all 4 ingredients in a large bowl and mash using a potato masher or fork, till smooth.
  3. Tear the cheddar cheese slices into small pieces, add to the mixture and stir till well blended.
  4. Take about a big fish ball size of mixture, stuff a cube of cream cheese in the middle, close up then roll into a ball and finally flatten slightly. Chill the patties in the fridge for at least 30 mins before use. *The patties can be chilled in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge.
  5. Coat the patties in thin layer of corn flour/starch, gently tapping away excess. Next dip in slightly beaten egg and finally coat generously with bread crumbs.
  6. Shallow fry the breaded patties in medium low fire till golden brown. (I fill the frying pan with oil till half depth of the patties.
  7. Drain using kitchen towel and best served warm.

Although the croquette tasted good on its own, our family still likes to dip them in our preferred sauces. For dear son, it's either ketchup or mayonnaise. He was crazy about ketchup for a while, but now mayonnaise (I use the Japanese kewpie brand). As for me, I love the Japanese tonkatsu sauce which is tangy and fruity, perfect to go along croquette or thai sweet chilli sauce, or thai plum sauce.

Whenever I cook this dish, the little rascal would hoard the entire plate and proclaim the dish his. Of course he couldn't finish all of them. His record was 8 pieces (together with some rice) which is a lot.

Give it a try, I'm sure kids and adult alike would enjoy it =D

04 March 2015

CNY Bakes 2015 三羊开泰新年年饼

Happy Chinese New Year! Oh my goodness, tomorrow is already the last day (15th day) of the Lunar New Year celebrations! The past 2 weeks have really gone by in a flash, and I have been so busy with visiting, cooking and hosting. Should be written this post long ago but seriously no energy :p

This year, I was rather ambitious in my bakes and decided to come up with three flavours in line with the CNY theme. Besides baking for my own consumption, I invited some close friends to place orders if they were interested.

My CNY Bakes 2015 三羊开泰新年年饼
  • Salted egg yolk cookie "金"玉满堂
  • Hae bee hiam cookie 喜"虾"(哈)大笑
  • Salty chewy chocolate chip cookie "朱"光宝气
What is the similarity between these 3 cookies? They are all savoury cookies! Haha. Somehow I prefer savoury cookies with a tinge of saltiness, as I tend to get sick of sugary sweet cookies very quickly.

One of my favourite cookie recipe, the Salted Egg Yolk Cookie. Baked this cookie last year and received very good feedback so decided to include it in the baking list this year. The salted egg yolk was procured from Hong Kong; got a few packs when I visit Hong Kong last December. In Hong Kong salted egg yolk is sold on its own (without the egg white) in vacuum packs.

Love this melt-in-the-mouth cookie which is very slightly sweet with a tinge of saltiness and with an added fragrance from the salted egg yolk.

The hae bee hiam cookie is something new. I love the mini hae bee hiam rolls so making it into a cookie is something different. A little sweet, a little salty, a little spicy and very fragrant. But somehow I got mixed reviews about it, some people liked it while some don't. Hmmm, maybe I still need to refine the recipe further.

Another of my favourite cookie recipe, the Salty Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. Made with Valrhona Chocolate Perles and topped with Maldon Sea Salt, the exterior is crispy while interior is chewy. I love how the sea salt breaks the monotonous sweetness of the chocolate and the different texture of the cookie. Simply addictive!

Besides packing the cookies in tubs, I also offered them in sampler boxes.

I must say that baking cookies is more tiring than baking cakes, because it's tedious to produce hundreds of cookies ensuring they are of the same quality, size and shape. Really need to think twice whether or not to take orders for next CNY! Well, I have a year to ponder, till then :p