I found this recipe while browsing the Internet and it was love at first sight! I must admit I had only ever made croquettes out of potatoes, so the idea of being able to use pumpkin instead opened up a whole new world of possibilities! It is a delicious recipe that can be served either as an appetiser or as a side dish and these yummy fried pumpkin balls also hide a secret! They are filled with Fontina cheese that oozes out when you bite into them! They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I think they make for a different (and scrumptious) way of eating your veggies. As you know, my eldest daughter is very fussy with her vegetables, but she liked these a lot and so did the rest of the family, so much so that I have been asked to make them again… I hope you enjoy them too!
- Clean and slice the pumpkin in thick slices (about 2.5 cm – 1 inch thick). Put it on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake it in a pre heated oven at 200°C – 390°F for about 45 minutes or until soft.
- When ready, let it cool down for 10 minutes and then blend it with a hand mixer until smooth.
- Put the purée in a pot and cook it on a medium flame, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste and let it cool down.
- When lukewarm, add 1 egg, the butter, the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and 75 gms – 2.65 oz. of breadcrumbs. Mix well and let it cool down completely.
- When cold, make balls of the size of an apricot with the pumpkin mixture. Make a hole in the centre of each ball and put a couple of cubes of Fontina in it. Close the ball well with your hands and roll it back in shape.
- Beat the remaining eggs in a bowl. Put the flour and the rest of the breadcrumbs in 2 separate plates. Coat each Fontina filled pumpkin croquette with flour, dip it in the egg and then coat well with breadcrumbs, pressing with your palms so the crumbs stick well to your croquette. Do this for all the croquettes.
- Deep fry them in warm vegetable oil, rolling them around with a slotted spoon. When golden brown, remove them and put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
- Serve warm, so that the cheese oozes out when you bite into them!!! YUM!