August 2, 2019
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Look for serrano ham at gourmet shops. Victor Dries adds trimmings from the ham to the milk mixture to infuse and amplify the flavor — try it if you have trimmings available (let the milk mixture come to a boil, then let stand for about 15 minutes to infuse before straining and continuing with recipe). Handle these croquetas carefully; they’re delicate and soft inside their crispy shells once cooked.
Yield: Serves 12
Plan Ahead: The croquetas mixture needs 24 hours to chill before breading and frying
- In food processor, combine egg yolks, mustard, garlic, vinegar and salt. Add canola oil in slow, steady stream until fully incorporated and emulsified. Thin with splash of water, if desired. Chill until ready to serve.
Make Croquetas Mixture
- In pot over medium-high heat, combine milk and cream, and bring to a boil. Remove immediately from heat.
- In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, to get rid of floury taste.
- Add hot milk mixture to flour mixture about a quarter at a time, stirring constantly, until very thick (it should look like creamy mashed potatoes). Remove from heat and stir in diced ham. Season well with salt, to taste.
- Scrape mixture into bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic into surface of mixture so it doesn’t form a skin. Chill in refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator. Using 2 oval spoons, form about 40 quenelles, or egg-like shapes.
- Set up a breading station with 1 shallow bowl each of flour, beaten eggs and panko. Season contents of each bowl with salt. Then, dip each quenelle first in flour, then in egg and, finally, in panko to coat. Lay in single layer on tray.
- To wide pot over medium heat add about 3 inches of canola oil and clip thermometer to side. When temperature has reached 350°F, add croquetas to oil a few at a time and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with chives and serve warm with aioli.