Crispy, creamy, and very tasty. This is how these cured cheese and ham croquettes are, a small delicacy made with two of the most representative ingredients of our gastronomy. The croquettes recipes are as versatile as we want. They admit countless ingredients and therein lies part of their charm. These will surprise you with their melting texture and their delicious cheese flavor. Fancy one?
The aged cheese is undoubtedly the protagonist of these croquettes. As is often the case with simple preparations, the success of the recipe will largely depend on the variety of cheese we choose and it’s quality. For that reason, I have used one of the great cured cheeses from Quesería La Antigua de Fuentesauco, perfect to add flavor and creaminess to these croquettes. Some time ago I collaborated with this brand and I wanted to repeat because the truth is that they are very rich. If you want to know more about them, you can take a look at both their website and the Quesoteca portal, where you will find a lot of information about the world of cheese and delicious recipes.
On the other hand, the pieces of Serrano ham that we find inside the croquette make its texture a little more fun in each bite. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be acorn-fed Iberico. Any Serrano ham you have will do, since the predominant flavor in the croquette is that of cheese.
FOR THE CROQUETTES DOUGH
- 500 ml Whole Milk
- 150 g Cured Cheese
- 80 g Flour
- 80 g Butter
- 70 g Chopped Serrano Ham
- 1 Unit Onion
- Olive Oil
- 2 Unit Bread Crumbs
- 2 Unit Eggs
- Olive Oil (you can also use sunflower)
Step-1: Prepare the bechamel for the croquettes
- Ingredients for making cured cheese and ham croquettes:
- Grate the aged cheese: Grate the aged cheese and set it aside. I used the finest part of my grater to leave it with a powdery texture.
- Finely chop the onion and poach it until very tender: Cut the onion into brunoise, that is, into small cubes. It is important to make them very small so that the texture of the croquettes dough is fine and pleasant.
- Melt the butter and add the flour: Pour a splash of olive oil into a pan and saute the onion over low heat without letting it burn. Add a pinch of salt to help him break a sweat. The onion has to be done little by little until almost caramelized. It took me about 25 minutes to get to this point.
- Cook the resulting roux for a few minutes: Then add the butter and let it melt. Then add the flour and cook it for 3 or 4 minutes over medium heat, until it begins to take on a little color.
- Add the milk little by little and stir with a rod to make the bechamel: Lower the heat to a minimum. Now add the milk little by little and stir constantly with a few rods. This is the trick for us to have a fine-textured bechamel. If you pour the milk all at once, it will be difficult for it to dissolve with the flour and lumps will form.
- Add the chopped ham, the grated cheese, and the pinch of pepper Correct salt: When you have the bechamel ready, add the grated cheese, the finely chopped Serrano ham, and a pinch of pepper. Mix everything with the skillet over low heat so that the cheese melts and integrates completely. Correct for salt if necessary.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let the croquettes dough rest in the fridge: Pour the bechamel into a container and cover it with plastic wrap to the skin, that is, in contact with the surface of the food. This will not scab over. Leave the croquettes dough to rest in the fridge until firm. The ideal is to prepare it from one day to the next.
Step-2: Bread and fry the croquettes
- Ingredients and steps to coat the croquettes: So that the cheese croquettes do not burst when fried, it is important that the layer of breading is consistent and that the frying is fast and with very hot oil. These are the steps you must follow. Prepare three dishes with the ingredients for the breading. One with flour, another with 2 beaten eggs, and another with breadcrumbs.
- The dough should have a similar consistency: Take the dough out of the refrigerator and take portions with the help of a spoon. Roll them in flour and shape them round.
- Batter the croquettes: Dip them in the egg, then dip them in the breadcrumbs until they are completely covered. Repeat this step 2 times. That is, each croquette will be left with 1 layer of flour, 2 eggs, and 2 breadcrumbs.
- Fry the croquettes until golden: When you have all the croquettes ready, fry them in plenty of hot oil. Soak them in the oil for a few seconds only, until they are golden brown on the outside. If you have them for longer than necessary, they can break and the interior, being so creamy, will come off. I prefer to use olive oil since at high temperatures it degrades less than other vegetable oils.
Now it’s time to place them on a kitchen paper that absorbs the excess oil and ready to eat!
Variations for making ham and cured cheese croquettes:
- If instead of cured or old cheese you use a creamier one, I recommend reducing the amount of cheese, since the dough of the croquettes could be too soft and you would have to shape it. A trick to roll a croquette's dough when it is very soft is to put it in the freezer for a little while. This will harden and make it easier for you.
- My cured cheese croquettes are round because I wanted to make them that way, but you can give it the elongated shape of a lifetime.
- Do you want the outside of the croquettes to be even crunchier? In that case, use panko, breadcrumbs of Japanese origin with which they are super crunchy.
Nutrition InformationYield 30 Croquettes Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 101Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 26mgSodium 158mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 4g
Estimated values based on one serving size.
Tips to follow when making cured cheese and ham croquettes:
- As I told you above, the trick so that the bechamel remains without lumps is to mix the milk little by little. There is no more mystery. Add it in small amounts and mix it well with the whisk until it is integrated with the flour and do not add more until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- By the way, if you make the bechamel on a non-stick pan, as was my case, avoid using metal utensils that can grate it.
- Be careful with the salt point, as both the cheese and the ham add a lot of flavors. During the poaching of the onion, add only a little and do not check the final taste until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Although the idea is that the batter of the croquettes is finite, in this recipe it is necessary that it be a little thicker. This will prevent the cheese from melting when it comes into contact with the hot oil and spills out of the interior of the kibble.
- Fry the croquettes in very hot oil and only for the time necessary to brown.
- As with all fried foods, if we leave them overnight, they become soft and lose their crispiness. I recommend you fry the croquettes that you are going to consume and freeze the rest.