Ham and Manchego Croquetas

Recipes, Starters

Ham and Manchego Croquetas

Croquetas originated in Spain as a delicious way to use up leftover meat, but today, the deep-fried snacks are tapas bar favorites. Enjoy with a light, refreshing beer — and welcome the weekend.

 

Ham and Manchego Croquetas

 

4 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

Sea salt and ground pepper

1 cup grated Manchego cheese

1/2 cup minced serrano ham

1 Tbs. snipped fresh chives

2 eggs, beaten

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

1 cup canola oil

 

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir flour into butter until a ball forms. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, ham and chives. The mixture should be very thick. Transfer to a covered container and chill for at least 2 hours.

 

Lightly flour a work surface. Remove mixture from refrigerator and, using your palms, roll it into a log about 1 inch in diameter. Cut into pieces 2 inches long, and place on a lightly floured baking sheet.

 

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In 3 separate bowls, place 1/2 cup flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs. Working with 4 pieces at a time, place in flour and toss to coat, shaking off excess. Transfer to egg mixture and coat evenly. Finally, transfer to bread crumbs and toss to coat, again shaking off excess. Using your hands, roll croquetas into balls, or form into sausages. Place on prepared baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. In batches to avoid crowding, fry croquetas, carefully turning once with a spatula, until golden, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining croquetas. Return croquetas to baking sheet and bake until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Serve at once. Makes 14 croquetas.

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