I love croquettes. I really do. I mean I just got to have them if they’re on a menu. I think it the special combination of the golden crispy fried coating to be broken through to creamy gooey cheesy meaty centres. What’s not to love! I’ve always wanted to make them on my return from holidays in Spain but always put off the deep frying but I wasn’t going to be put off by that to deny homemade deliciousness!
I again used some of Rosie (The Bristol Cheesemonger’s) fabulous Somerset Manchego cheese – check out her site here to get yours.
I have many brilliant cookery books covering a range of topics and so when I needed a special recipe for croquettes, there was one cookery book I knew I had to use. This is the bible of tapas and a must for anyone bookshelf and kitchen.
I adapted the recipe to add more of Rosie’s cheese for a luxurious filling. If you can make a bechamel sauce then you can make croquettes. I wish I had cracked them sooner as they were such a crowd pleaser. I used Japanese panko breadcrumbs for my croquettes, which gave a great crispness and slight sweetness to them. You can use golden traditional breadcrumbs if you prefer.
This recipe makes about 14 large croquettes!
-1tbsp sunflower oil
-1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
-2 tbsp plain flour
-100g Serrano Ham, finely chopped
-100g manchego cheese, finely grated
-200g panko breadcrumbs
-vegetable oil for frying
- Heat the sunflower oil, butter and the ham, the until the butter has melted and the ham has started to render out the fat. Stir in the flour and cook out over a medium heat for a minute or two. Gradually, add in the milk, a little at a time to slowly thicken the mixture, until all the milk has been added, cook the mixture further until thicker. Stir in the cheese and stir until melted through. Spread the mixture into a large shallow dish and chill for at least two hours.
2. Set up your assembly line. In a shallow dish beat the eggs together, in another dish sprinkle out the breadcrumbs. Using two spoons shape 2 tablespoons the mixture into croquette logs. Prepare to get a bit messy! 3. Roll each croquette in the breadcrumbs, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs again. Place the coated croquettes on a lined tray whilst waiting to be fried. When all the croquettes have been coated, prepare to fry.
4. In a large pan, pour roughly a litre and half of vegetable oil, use a thermometer that clips to the side of the pan so you don’t have to hold it in the pan of oil. Heat the oil slowly until it gets to 180C-190C. Carefully add the croquettes, two at a time and cook until golden brown. Slot out of the pan, draining any excess oil as you go and transfer to kitchen towel lined plate. Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the rest of the croquettes.
5. Serve alongside other tapas or just tuck in on their own with a fino sherry!