Croquettes with Serrano Ham and Manchego Cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 6 tablespoons finely chopped serrano ham
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese (about 1 3/4 ounces)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish
Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in ham and 1/3 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet, and let cool completely. Mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.
Whisk together eggs in a shallow dish. Stir together breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup cheese in another shallow dish. Scoop tablespoons of cooled mixture, and shape with floured hands into 2-inch ovals. Working with 1 oval at a time, coat in beaten egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a large, heavy stockpot until it registers 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry croquettes, flipping once, until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. (Adjust heat between batches as needed to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Serve warm, garnished with parsley sprigs.