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Crispy bite-sized croquettes are the ideal thing to serve as a canapé with drinks. Here I’ve taken inspiration from West Coast flavours and made sustainable snoek (Thyrsites atun) the base of these croquettes for a simple yet elegant snack to welcome in the party season.

Combined with mashed potato, lemon and the vibrancy of parsley, the croquettes are coated in beaten egg and rolled in toasted sourdough breadcrumbs – a nod to the South African favourite of snoek pâté on brown bread. I toast my sourdough before blitzing it with sea salt and a few fresh rosemary leaves. The inclusion of bokkom – an iconic West Coast ingredient – gives my roasted garlic aioli depth and flavour without overpowering fishiness.

Complementing the rich taste of oily fish like snoek, Simonsig’s 2020 Sunbird Sauvignon Blanc provides delightful freshness, with aromas of passion fruit and gooseberries beautifully complimented by hints of green fig. The ideal white wine for seafood or fish-based dishes, Simonsig’s Sauvignon Blanc’s complex palate of tropical fruits, white flowers and cut grass provides a refreshing acidity that counters the richness of the croquettes.

Top tip – the croquettes are just as delicious served at room temperature as they are hot.

Brown Bread Snoek Croquettes with Bokkom Aioli

Prep time: 1 hour /Cook time: 15 mins /Makes: 10-15 croquettes

You will need:

  • 500g cooked flaked snoek (smoked or braaied)
  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed and chilled
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 250ml of brown or sourdough breadcrumbs
  • Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Coconut or any other neutrally flavoured oil, for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the bokkom aioli:

  • 300ml good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bokkom fillet
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Coarse ground black pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the flaked snoek, the mashed potatoes and half of the beaten egg. Add in the herbs, lemon zest and garlic and use a wooden spoon to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and set aside. Using clean hands, take roughly a heaped tablespoonful of the mixture and roll into a ball that can fit within the palm of your hand. Remember to keep the croquettes bite-sized for easy eating.

Arrange each croquette on the baking sheet and once done, refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Once chilled, remove the croquettes from the fridge and heat up about 2cm of coconut oil in a large frying pan. Roll each croquette first in beaten egg and then in the brown breadcrumbs and carefully place into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. The croquettes should only require a few minutes on each side to brown. Once golden and crispy, drain the croquettes on kitchen towel and sprinkle over some sea salt.

For the bokkom aioli, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the head of garlic in an ovenproof dish and drizzle over a little olive oil. Roast the garlic for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Working over a mixing bowl, pop each clove out from its peel and mash with a fork. Use a fine grater to carefully grate in about 1.2 teaspoons of bokkom and season the mixture with black pepper and the lemon juice. Add in the mayonnaise and stir to combine.

Serve the snoek croquettes with the bokkom aioli and a few chilled glasses of Simonsig Sunbird Sauvignon Blanc. Summer perfection!

Recipe developed by Georgia East – a writer, food stylist and photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa.

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