Bacon & Manchego Croquetas
Crispy, creamy and delicious! Think a silky bechamel sauce filled with crispy smokey bacon and nutty manchego. These delicious bite size breaded balls are a great starter, side dish or perfect to accompany a tapas selection. Bored at home? Why not put together a tapas night for your household? Making sure you include these ;) .
150g o f bacon (chopped)
1 bay leaf
75g of butter
75g of plain flour
500ml of whole milk
50g of manchego (grated)
A pinch of nutmeg
0.5 tsp of salt
0.5 tsp of pepper
2 eggs (beaten)
100g of panko breadcrumbs
Sunflower oil for (frying 1/3 of a pan)
1. Start by adding the chopped bacon to a frying pan (no oil) and cook on a medium heat until crispy. Once the bacon has crisped place in a bowl and leave to the side.
2. Place the butter in the same pan and melt it on a low heat, once melted gradually sift in the flour stirring frequently. The flour should have formed a thick paste, now gradually add in the milk again stirring frequently until you have a smooth sauce.
3. Keeping the heat on a simmer, add the grated manchego and stir in until it melts, now add the bay leaf, bacon, salt, pepper, nutmeg and stir it all in.
4. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes stirring occasionally, turn off the heat and place the sauce in a bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
5. Once cooled, mould the set sauce into mini balls (around one heaped tsp per ball) and line up on a chopping board.
6. In two separate bowls place the whisked eggs in one and the breadcrumbs in another. Now we're going to dip the balls! - First dip a ball in the eggs and then the breadcrumbs, making sure every side is covered. repeat until you have breaded all balls.
7. Place the sunflower oil in a large deep pan and heat until a small piece of bread turns golden and crisp almost instantly. Now place the breaded balls into the oil one at a time, being careful not to crowd them (a round 5 balls at a time). Fry until golden, remove and place on a board or plate lined with kitchen roll. Repeat this process until all the balls have been fried.