Looking for a little help in the kitchen? How about turning to a patron saint for culinary inspiration? You probably won’t experience a miraculous washing of the dishes but you may find your feasting filled with unexpected graces. The Church has a rich tradition of assigning saints as special guardians of different aspects of ourselves and the culinary arts are no exception.
Wild garlic pesto
150g wild garlic leaves,
washed and dried
50g grated Parmesan
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
½ tsp Bart Smoked Garlic Granules
l zest and juice of ½ lemon
(to make the lemon easier to
juice, roll it a few times
under your foot!)
50g pine nuts
150ml vegetable oil
Roughly chop the wild garlic, and then blitz all the ingredients in a food processor and add the oil slowly in a long stream; taste and add more lemon juice if needed. It keeps well in the fridge for up to a month.
400g cooked chicken (you can use any bits; I sometimes add another cooked breast if extra is needed)
100g plain flour
1 tsp dried thyme
Melt the butter and add the flour and let it cook for a few minutes to let the starch grains burst.
Add the milk slowly, stirring all the time until you end up with a thick shiny white sauce. Chop the chicken bits and pulse in a food processor to mince them; not for too long as you need to keep some texture.
Add the chicken to the sauce, add the thyme (I use dried, not fresh, as fresh makes the mixture too wet) and salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the mixture onto a large dinner plate and pop in the fridge for an hour to chill.
Meanwhile get your breadcrumb mixture ready. On one plate put 100g plain flour, on another two beaten eggs, and on a third a tub of dried white breadcrumbs to which I add a sachet of bread sauce mix to give it a great texture.
Get the chicken mixture out of the fridge and shape it into a little sausage with your hands. Then roll it first in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then finally roll it in the breadcrumbs (the grandchildren love helping with this) and then start the process all over again. This should make around 15 croquettes.
Finally, fry them in shallow fat (no need for a deep fat fryer), turning once or twice so that they are crispy and brown all over.
Serve hot with the pesto on the side. These freeze well, too.
This article first appeared in the June issue of the Catholic Herald.Subscribe now.