Servings 20-22 pieces
Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquettes (or any kind of croquettes, for that matter) was something I had only tried at the España restaurant in Vancouver, Canada. In my first introduction to Spanish tapas, I remember falling in love at first sight with the croquettes. This Catalan restaurant was only a five minute walk from my apartment in downtown Vancouver, and before I knew it, I had already gone back a few more times for those heavenly croquettes.
Oddly enough, those are still the best croquettes I’ve had to this day. So it only makes sense to try to my own hand at them. If you’re not afraid to make a mess they are very much fun to make and eat.
These croquettes are completely inspired by Spanish ingredients like Serrano ham and Manchego cheese.
So many people like to talk about potato croquettes when they talk about croquettes. I guess it’s all about where you come from when it comes to your palette, and maybe I have talked with a lot of English people recently! A lot of people elsewhere does not neceserraliy equate mashed potatoes as a delicacy, but when presented in croquette form it gets pretty easy to convince anyone!
So when thinking of the Spanish ham croquette variant, it suddenly gets serious. Talk about perfect tapas food! This fried and salty little one packs a flavorful punch, and by coming in so many distinctive variations it’s hard to not fall in love.
Many people suggest using chicken as a serrano ham substitute, and it’s of course a good idea because chances are you have some leftover chicken at home rather than a fresh pack of Spanish ham, but we went for the serrano ham variant instead, and I think the reason why is obvious:
Hello, deep-fried happiness
How To Make Serrano Ham And Manchego Croquettes
For the croquettes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup finely chopped Serrano ham (can substitute prosciutto), about 1.8 oz
1/3 cup grated Manchego cheese, about 1.8 oz
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Smoked Pimenton Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika such as Pimentón de La Vera
Prep Time:40 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
- 149 calories
- 8 grams of fat
- 1 grams of sugar
- 532 milligrams of sodium
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup finely chopped Serrano ham (can substitute prosciutto), about 1.8 oz
- 1/3 cup grated Manchego cheese, about 1.8 oz
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil for frying
Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Add the flour and cook 1-2 minutes while whisking frequently. Gradually add the milk while whisking and continue to cook another 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the ham, cheese and nutmeg. Cook another 1-2 minutes while stirring- the mixture will pull away from the sides of the pan. Taste the mixture and add salt if desired- the ham and cheese are salty so you probably won’t need to add any additional salt. Transfer the mixture to an 8×8-inch baking tray and spread it out so that it is even. Let the mixture cool, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to cook the croquettes, lightly beat the eggs in a shallow dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and ½ teaspoon salt in another dish. Scoop up tablespoons of the cooled filling and form them into balls. Dip each ball into the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Place the completed croquettes on a wire rack or baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. The Serrano ham And Manchego croquettes must be chilled before frying otherwise they may fall apart in the oil.