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Ham And Manchego Croquettes

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Ham and cheese croquettes are a wickedly moreish tapas dish that's crunchy on the outside but creamy and cheesy on the inside

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  • Makes 16

  • Total time 45 mins

    plus chilling
  • Skill level Easy

  • Calories 105 per serving

  • Prepare ahead yes

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 
1 shallot
  • 
70g Ibérico ham, diced very small
  • 60g plain flour

  • 75ml vegetable stock

  • 325ml milk

  • 50g manchego cheese, grated

For the crumb:
  • 75g plain flour
  • 
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100g breadcrumbs, preferably panko Japanese-style crumbs (widely available in supermarkets)
  • oil, for frying

Preparation

For a fabulous dinner party recipe that makes a great tapas or starter option, give these tasty croquettes with ham and Manchego cheese a try this week.

HOW TO MAKE HAM AND MANCHEGO CROQUETTES

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, then add the shallot and sauté until soft but not coloured. Stir in the ham, fry for another minute, then add the flour and fry over a medium heat until the mixture is golden. Combine the stock and milk in a small pan and heat until hot but not boiling. Gradually add the liquid to the roux, stirring all the time. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens and leaves the sides of the pan when you stir it. Add the cheese and season with black pepper. Smooth the sauce onto a small baking tray then cover with cling film. Leave it to cool then put it in the fridge for an hour.

  2. Put the flour, egg and crumbs into 3 bowls; disposable food gloves are handy here! Dust your hands with flour, take some of the cheese mixture and roll it to a walnut-sized ball. Dust with flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Put on a tray and put back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  3. If you have a deep fat fryer, heat
 the oil to 175C and fry the croquettes
 for a couple of minutes. if not, heat
 the oil in a frying pan until it starts to shimmer, then add 3-4 croquettes at a time and fry until golden. You don’t want them to cook too quickly otherwise the centre won’t be hot enough.