Greek leek croquettes

Greek leek croquettes

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

The combination of dill and fresh cheese is very popular in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. These airy golden choux balls are terrific with a glass of chilled bubbles as a pre-dinner snack. The quantities will make 30–40 croquettes.


Quantity Ingredient
2 medium leeks, finely sliced, white part only
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 tablespoon butter
200ml good-quality chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
vegetable oil, for frying
1-2 teaspoons warmed leatherwood honey or maple syrup, to drizzle


Quantity Ingredient
500ml water
125g unsalted butter
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch nutmeg
4-5 large eggs
125g crumbled goat’s cheese
25g grated parmesan
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped dill


  1. Sauté the leek and garlic in the butter for a few minutes until they soften. Pour in the chicken stock and add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cut out a circle of baking paper large enough to cover the leek mixture (this stops a skin forming as it slowly cooks down), lower the heat and cook very gently for 25 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to a lovely soft mass. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Peel away the paper and tip the leeks into a food processor. Pulse a few times to make a coarse purée. Set aside.
  2. To make the pastry, put the water and butter in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil so that the butter completely dissolves. As the liquid boils, quickly add all the flour and salt at once, and mix well with a wooden spoon to incorporate into the liquid. Continue cooking over a low heat for about 8 minutes, until the mixture is glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan in a smooth ball.
  3. Tip the pastry into an electric mixer and beat for a few minutes on medium speed. Add the leek purée and then the eggs, one at a time, beating constantly. Depending on the flour, you may only need 4 eggs, but if the mixture is too stiff, add another. When all the eggs are incorporated, quickly mix in the cheeses, dill salt and nutmeg. Refrigerate the mixture until completely cold. (You can make the mixture up to a day ahead of time.)
  4. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 180°C, or until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles to the surface in about 30 seconds. Shape the mixture into mini golfballs and deep-fry until they are golden brown and starting to split. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately, drizzled with a little warmed honey.
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