Serrano ham and manchego croquettas

  • Preparation Time45 mins
  • Cooking Time24 mins
  • Serves12
  • DifficultyMedium
500g potato mash, leftover or freshly made
110g manchego cheese, frozen 1 hour then finely chopped with a food processor, plus shaved manchego cheese, for serving
170g serrano ham, frozen 1 hour then finely chopped in a food processor
2 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Romesco sauce, for serving
Chopped chives, for serving

For the romesco sauce

50g slivered almonds
225g roasted red peppers, drained
*1 egg yolk
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp orange zest and juice, from 1 orange (about 60ml)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
125ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1) In a large mixing bowl or the food processor combine the potato mash, cheese, ham and eggs. Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper. The mixture should be wet enough so the breadcrumbs will stick to the croquettas.

2) Form the mixture into croquettas (makes about 2 dozen, medium-sized) and dip into the panko breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper. Pat lightly so the crumbs stick. Lay out on a tray, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before frying.

3) Put vegetable oil to a depth of 2.5cm in a deep-fryer or heavy bottomed pot and heat over a medium heat to about 180C. Fry the croquettas in small batches, turning once until evenly browned, 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with chives and shaved manchego. Serve with romesco sauce.

For the romesco sauce:
1) Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes.

2) Transfer the almonds to a blender. Add the roasted red peppers, egg yolk, garlic, zest, and season with salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine.

3) With the blender on low speed drizzle in the olive oil. Once it begins to emulsify, stop the blender and add the orange juice and sherry vinegar. Pulse once more to fully emulsify.

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs, due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

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