Parsnip and Chestnut Croquettes

Recipe courtesy of The Ultimate Christmas Cookbook

This is a delightful way to present classic Christmas vegetables.

Parsnip croquettes

450g (1 lb) parsnips, cut roughly into small pieces
115g (4oz) frozen chestnuts
25g (1oz) butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
15ml (1 tblsp) chopped fresh coriander
1 egg, beaten
40-50g (1 1/2 – 2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper
sprig of coriander, to garnish

Makes: 10-12


Step One : Place the parsnips in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until completely tender.

Step Two : Place the frozen chestnuts in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until very tender. Drain, then place the chestnuts in a mixing bowl and mash roughly.

Step Three : Melt the butter in a small saucepan and cook the garlic for 30 seconds. Drain the parsnips and mash with the garlic butter. Stir in the chestnuts and chopped coriander, then season well.

Step Four : Take about 15ml (1 tblsp) of the mixture at a time and form into croquettes, 7.5cm (3 in) long. Dip into the beaten egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs.

Step Five : Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the croquettes for 3-4 minutes until golden, turning frequently so they brown evenly. Drain on kitchen paper and then serve at once, garnished with the fresh coriander sprig.

Tip: The addition of the chestnuts gives the dish a festive flavour. If you are unable to find frozen chestnuts, you could use unsweetened peeled chestnuts available in cans from supermarkets.

For other ideas with chestnuts …

Chocolate and Chestnut Cake

Cuts into 10-12 slices

Ingredients for the cake:
4 medium eggs separated
250g (8oz) caster sugar
90g (3oz) plain chocolate, grated
435g can chestnut puree.

Ingredients for the filling:
150ml (1/4 pint) double cream
30g (1oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp brandy, optional
Icing sugar, for dusting
two 20cm (8in) round sandwich tins, base lined with greaseproof paper

Step One : Set the oven to Gas 4/180oC/350oF.

Step Two : To make the cake: Whisk the egg yolks and the caster sugar together until thick and creamy. Fold in the chocolate and three-quarters of the chestnut puree.

Step Three : Whisk egg whites until stiff, then fold into the chocolate and chestnut mixture. Divide between the tins and level the surface.

Step Four : Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 20-25 mins, until they are firm in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.

Step Five : To make the filling: Lightly whip the cream and sugar together. Mix the brandy, if using, with the remaining chestnut puree, then fold the puree into the cream.

Step Six : Spread filling over one cake layer. Place the other on top. Dust with icing sugar.

Additional recipes for using Chestnuts can be found here …