Let’s Talk Croquetas
Yes! Let’s talk croquetas/croquettes. Yes, they are easy and you can pull them off — be brave and try something new! Croquettes are a Spanish appetizer (tapas) and my husband orders them at restaurants whenever we see them. You can make seafood croquettes, potato croquettes, vegetable based, cheese based, turkey based. I mean, it’s basically a thick white sauce, and you add whatever you feel like to it. Then you refrigerate the mixture until you can roll it into balls, roll it in some breadcrumbs and fry. It’s good, it’s different, it will impress at a party. Try it!
Prosciutto & Manchego cheese are two weaknesses of ours, so let me present to you my recipe for….
Manchego & Prosciutto CroquettesMakes 20-22
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup flour
1 1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup finely chopped prosciutto
1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I do love panko, but I don’t think it’s right for this flavor combination)
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 one to two minutes while whisking. Gradually add the milk while whisking, and continue to cook another two to three minutes. The mixture should be smooth. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the ham, cheese and nutmeg. Taste the mixture and add salt & pepper if desired — but be careful because the ham and cheese are already salty!
- Transfer the mixture to an 8×8-inch baking tray and spread it out so that it is even. Let the mixture cool, and then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, lightly beat the eggs in a dish. Mix the breadcrumbs and ½ teaspoon garlic 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 croquetas on a wire rack or baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. The croquetas must be chilled before frying, otherwise they may fall apart in the oil. And I think it would be quite tricky to make them in the summer months! You might have to use the freezer.
- Pour vegetable oil about 1 1/2 inch high, and heat over medium low heat. Be careful and maybe just test one to see if the oil temperature is right, cause these suckers burn fast! Working in batches, fry them in the oil, turning them on all sides until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve immediately with aioli or mayo (or nothing)!