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Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli

By • December 15, 2011 • 0 Comments

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Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli by Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

We always love hors d'oeuvres that can be made ahead and fried up quickly for a party, and these addictive Spanish croquetas fit the bill. The cheesy, ham-flecked dough is a cross between a choux (without the egg) and a floury bechamel. Once it cools and thickens up, you can put little (or big) helpers on ball-rolling duty. The crust fries up shaggy and golden from the panko, and the paprika aioli is pretty in pink, with an assertive garlic punch. - A&M

Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli

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The ingredients: olive oil, butter, flour, whole milk, nutmeg, salt, eggs, breadcrumbs, Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, and smoked paprika

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First, we sliced up our gorgeous Serrano ham.

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The Manchego gets some time with the microplane...

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...and then the nutmeg on the micro-microplane.

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Olive oil and butter make a fabulous duo.

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Flour joined in...

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...and we whisked away.

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Next comes the milk, poured in a steady stream.

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Perfection.

Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli

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The Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, and the nutmeg get swirled in with a wooden spoon.

Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimentón Aioli

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The whole concoction gets spread into a baking tray and sent into the fridge. 

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A few hours later, the scoopage began.

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Adorable.

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Each little ball gets a nice bath in the egg mixture...

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And then rolls around in the panko.

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Even more adorable.

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They cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes pre-fry.

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And in they go!

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After two minutes, they emerge: golden, shaggy, and perfect.

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And for the aioli: add the lemon juice and mayonnaise to the food processor.

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In with the garlic...

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...and that beautiful Spanish sweet smoked paprika.

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Away they go!

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They're just shouting to be dunked and eaten.

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Party-perfect!

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