I devised this appetizer recipe a few years ago to use up some leftover poached salmon filets. They are surprisingly delicious, and not difficult to make at all. Substitute cooked chicken, turkey or any other fish you like.
You can serve with any type of dip you think would taste good. This time I simply made an herb vinaigrette (fresh parsley, tarragon & chives, whirred in the blender/food processor until finely minced), Champagne vinegar, some lime juice, a tiny bit of water, a pinch of sugar, very little oil, and a couple of tablespoons of lowfat yogurt, then blended again.
If you like a thicker dip, you could add more yogurt, some sour cream, and/or mayonnaise. Since the croquette lollipops are rather rich, I prefer a light dip. Even a simple squeeze of lime would add the perfect finish.
Bite-size Salmon Lollipop Croquettes with Herb and Lime Dipping Sauce
You can use any leftover mildly seasoned cooked fish for this recipe. (I've also poached fish specifically for this recipe, so you don't have to use leftovers.)
Note: Cooked chicken works just as well, too (just omit the dill, and increase parsley, or add some dried or fresh thyme)
This utilizes 2 cups cooked fish, however you can easily halve the recipe as I often do.
Ingredients for the white sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
4 slightly heaping tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups cream, warmed
2 cups finely broken/shredded cooked fish meat (or chicken)
1 teaspoon kosher salt salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 teaspoons freshly minced dill, or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill (omit if using chicken, substitute thyme, or other herb of your choice)
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
A few drops of hot sauce (such as Tabasco), or a pinch of cayenne pepper if you like
Ground white pepper to taste
Panko bread crumbs (coarse Japanese dried bread crumbs)
Oil for frying (I use cannola)
Place the cooked fish into a medium bowl and break/shred into very small pieces with your fingers. Set aside.
Make a thick white sauce:
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pan, stir in 4 slightly heaping tablespoons of flour, cook and stir for a minute or two over medium heat. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of warmed cream, stirring all the while. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is very thick; 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.While the sauce is still hot stir to blend thoroughly the remaining ingredients except the egg, panko crumbs and oil.
Set mixture aside to cool until very stiff. I spread it out into a shallow baking pan so it cools more rapidly, as soon as it is cool I place in the refrigerator until ready to shape and fry the croquettes. (Up to two days ahead.)
Shape into croquettes I use a very small scoop, then roll into small balls. A teaspoon works just as well to portion the amount for each ball. After shaping, dip ball into beaten egg. Roll in panko crumbs and fry in 2 to 3-inches of oil until deep golden brown and very hot. Drain on paper towels.
Stick thick bamboo skewer in center of each and serve hot, with dipping sauce of your choice, or simply a squeeze of lime.
(Can hold them for up to 45 minutes after shaping, in a 250-degree (F) oven on a shallow baking pan, just watch to make sure they don't overbrown, as ovens vary.
Additional note: You can shape these into small cakes without the skewers, or larger cakes to serve as an entree.