Makes 36 croquettes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup onions chopped finely
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups pheasant stock
½ cup finely chopped, Serrano ham or Prosciutto
6 ounces pheasant meat, shredded
Salt and pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pound chopped frozen Oregon black truffles
2 cups breadcrumbs
Olive oil for frying
Heat the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they are translucent, five minutes. Add 1 ½ cups flour and mix thoroughly. Cook for five minutes to make sure the flour is cooked through; it should start to take on a golden color. Pour the milk and stock into the flour mixture and cook, stirring continuously for about two minutes, until you have a thick béchamel.
Add the ham and pheasant, and sprinkle in salt and nutmeg. Cook another two minutes. You should have a thick mixture you can mold with your hands. Carefully pick up a bit and try to roll it into a ball with your hands. It shouldn’t be too sticky. If it does stick to your hand, cook it longer. Spread the mixture on a sheet pan and let it cool to room temperature, then add chopped truffles.
Take a spoon of the cooled béchamel mixture and roll it in your hands to make a small cylinder the size of a wine cork. Roll the cylinder in the remaining one cup flour, then the egg and then the bread crumbs. Repeat with all the croquettes.
In a small, deep fry pan, heat olive oil to 370° F (measured with a candy thermometer). Add the croquettes in small batches, making sure they are covered completely in oil. Fry until they have a nice golden color, about one minute; then transfer them to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.
*A winner has been selected for this category* Congratulations to Ashley J. in Bend!