Serves 4 dozen
I was intrigued by the use of millet flour here. Although I didn’t find millet flour I assumed that I could just pulverize some millet seed to the same effect and that’s what I did.
If you are somewhat experienced at frying food then I would recommend giving this a try. Frying food all depends on the heat of the oil and regulation, so that food doesn’t overcook or burn before it is cooked all the way through. You’ll want to keep the bites small so they will cook all the way through the middle. The accompanying spicy sauce really is a must here.
I did some additional testing and found that if you want to fry the croquettes one day ahead of time, and then rewarm in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes right before you wish to serve them, they are just about as good as when they were fresh out of the oil.
½ lb. ground beef
½ cup onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup millet seeds, ground in a coffee/spice grinder, to make flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large egg
Heat up a medium sauce pan and add one tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Keep pounding and chopping at the beef until it is in fine crumbs. You want the beef to be as fine as possible so that it will evenly spread throughout the batter. Pour two cups of hot water into the pan and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few minutes.
In the meantime, blend the millet flour with one-quarter cup of water and the baking soda. Stir with a fork to form a thick paste. Add to the pot with the ground beef and stir until the mixture thickens. Take off the heat and let cool completely.
In a small bowl, crack the egg and add one tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Whisk vigorously and add to the cooled meat mixture.
Using a small melon scoop, or two teaspoons, scoop and form the batter into small balls, about the size of a large marble. Scoop onto a tray and refrigerate until firm if the dough feels too soft to work with. The recipe can be prepared up to this point, and the croquettes can be fried the next day. (The croquettes can also be finished completely, chilled, and rewarmed the next day in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.)
Heat up a wok or small/medium size frying pan. The smaller the pan the better, so you can use less oil that way. Pour some oil into the pan. I use the shallow-fry method, that is, the oil doesn’t completely submerge the food, I use just enough oil to keep the food floating and from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Drop the millet croquettes into the hot oil and fry on one side until medium brown, then flip to brown the other side. This should take anywhere from 3-4 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel lined platter.
Serve with Senegalese Chile Sauce for dipping.
Notes and Instructions
Recipe and photo credit: Linda McElroy
Adapted from “Yolole! Recipes from the Heart of Senegal,” by Pierre Thiam