“When I entertain, I love to serve relaxed, home-style dishes that are simple to prepare,” says Cape Town caterer Kate George of The Food Room (083 700 5859)


For the Croquettes:

  • 40g butter
  • 3T cake flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
  • ½t smoked paprika
  • 1T chopped chives
  • 100g pancetta, diced and fried
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil, for deep frying

For the crumbed coating:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (or any fine white breadcrumbs)

For the dip:

  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 4T Dijon mustard
  • 2T honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

To serve:
loaf of white bread, hollowed out


1. To prepare the croquettes, start by making a thick white sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour to form a paste. Cook for 1 minute and take off the heat. Stir in the milk a little bit at a time, making sure it doesn’t become lumpy.
2. Return the saucepan to the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the oil. It should be a nice thick sauce. Allow it to cool, then roll it into R5-coin size balls and freeze overnight.
3. When you are ready to fry the croquettes, heat the oil in a saucepan. You’ll need enough oil to cover them.
4. To crumb the croquettes: dip each one in the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Make sure they are very well coated.
5. Deep fry the croquettes in the hot oil until golden and drain on kitchen paper.
6. To serve: mix all the dip ingredients together and serve in a bowl in the hollowed out loaf of bread together with the croquettes.

This recipe makes about 25 croquettes.