Sunday, February 20, 2011

Croquettes de Crevettes...Shrimp Croquettes

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Next to chicken and serrano ham croquettes these are my favorite, particularly as a leftover alternative for shrimp.  You can roll them small for cocktails, serve them as part of a tapas buffet, or serve them for lunch with a Newburg Sauce.  Definitely a favorite of the Ladies Who Lunch, particularly if they are of a certain age.  All you need is a green salad and if you want to get really retro, add a Tomato Aspic.

Don't let croquettes intimidate you.  They are really easy to make, just a bit labor intensive.   Once you get the hang of it, you will make them with your eyes closed.  To me the worse part is rolling and breading them but once you start, you might as well make the sacrifice and double the recipe so you can freeze for another meal.  Those are the ones you really appreciate...

To get them really crunchy, make sure the oil is hot enough before you slide them in the pan.  Let them cook until brown on one side without moving them before you cook the other side. I also cook them a bit on the sides so they are completely brown.

You can serve these without the sauce but with some lemon slices on the side to squeeze on top.  In that case, a tomato aspic is really a must!

Depending on what else is on the menu, this recipe will serve 4-6 as a main course. 


1 pound shrimp cooked in the shell (see recipe)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 cup milk
1/2 cup liquid in which shrimp were cooked
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups fine, fresh bread crumbs
Salt, if desired
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 egg
3 tablespoons water
Oil for deep frying
Newburg sauce (see recipe), optional


1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Chop them finely. There should be about two cups. Set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook until wilted, stirring with a wire whisk. Add three tablespoons of the flour and the paprika, stirring. Add the milk and shrimp liquid, stirring rapidly with the whisk.
3. When thickened and smooth, continue cooking about two minutes. Add the chopped shrimp, egg yolks and sherry. Cook briefly about 30 seconds, stirring.
4. Add half of the bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and the cayenne. Blend well. Let stand until thoroughly cooled.
5. Divide the mixture into 16 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Roll the balls in the remaining one-quarter cup of flour. Mold them into the desired form: spheres, cylinders, pyramids or flat cakes.
6. Beat the egg with the water. Roll the croquettes in the egg mixture and then in the remaining bread crumbs. Press to help crumbs adhere. Shake off excess.
7. Heat the oil for deep frying. Add the croquettes a few at a time and cook about four minutes or until golden brown. Serve, if desired, with Newburg sauce.

YIELD 16 croquettes .

Sauce Newburg


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt, if desired

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons dry sherry


1.Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the shallots and paprika. Cook, stirring, until shallots are wilted. Sprinkle the mixture with flour and stir with a wire whisk.

2.Add the milk, stirring vigorously with the whisk. Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste. Strain the sauce through a sieve, preferably of the sort known in French kitchens as a chinois. Press with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible from the shallots. Reheat and add the sherry.

YIELD  About one and one-half cups .

Adapted from the New York Times

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