This was excellent, at two meals during last weekend's Masterchef event - once, served formally on Saturday night, with a rocket salad in sesame dressing, and then again for Sunday lunch, when we guzzled shamelessly on all of the leftovers. This is very straightforward - you just have to remember to start making the 'paste' on the previous day, in order to give it time to firm up sufficiently to fry without falling to pieces. The 'croquettes' (since that is essentially what these are) should be light and elegantly creamy, but with a good, edgy flavour that definitely sets the taste-buds tingling for more.
For about 24 individual pieces:
Ingredients: 150g Butter; 150g Flour; 750 ml Milk; 3 eggs; 300g grated Gruyère; 150g grated Parmesan; a pinch of Nutmeg; ground Pepper; 150g fine dry Breadcrumbs. Oil, to fry, in a deep-fat fryer.
1. In a bain marie or simmertopf, melt the Butter, then stir in the Flour, until amalgamated, and add the Milk. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Add the Cheeses, Nutmeg and a few grinds of Pepper and mix thoroughly; remove from heat.
2. Separate the Eggs, and stir the yolks into the cheese mixture. Put the egg whites in the fridge until the following day.
3. Put the cheese mixture onto a platter and form it into a rectangle which is about 2 cm thick; place this in the fridge and leave overnight, or for at least twelve hours.
4. After the mixture has come out of the fridge once more, put the egg whites into a soup plate and whisk lightly with a fork; pour the Breadcrumbs into another soup plate.
5. Cut the cheese mix rectangle into individual pieces, each one 2cm x 4cm (no larger or smaller, or they won't cook properly). Carefully dunk each piece first in the beaten egg white and then into the Breadcrumbs.
6. Heat the oil in the fryer to 170 degrees C, and fry the croquettes four at a time for six minutes each.