Champignon Garlic and Jamon Serrano Croquetas

Garlic is a fundamental flavor of dishes around the world, so it’s no surprise that Champignon Garlic proves so versatile. Here, robust and creamy Champignon Garlic turns the flavors of croquetas inside out. No need for aioli to top these croquetas: the punch of garlic is in the filling.

Crispy on the outside, gooey and savory on the inside, these croquetas hit all the right notes. Dab them with piquillo pepper or parsley coulis and your mouth will be in flavor heaven. The piquillo pepper adds a marvelous sweetness that compliments the creamy filling, while the parsley is a refreshing counterpoint to the heady garlic.

Champignon Garlic and Jamon Serrano Croquetas

3 T butter
3 T finely chopped onion
1/2 cup flour, plus another ½ cup for dredging
3/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
4 oz. jamon Serrano, finely chopped
4 oz. of Champignon Garlic, rind removed, and diced into ½ inch cubes
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
sunflower or safflower oil (for deep frying)

Parsley Coulis
1 bunch of parsley
3 T of good olive oil

Piquillo Pepper Coulis
9 piquillo peppers
2 T of good olive oil

1. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onions and sauté until translucent.

2. Add salt, pepper, and flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together (away from the sides of the pan).

3. Remove from the heat and add the salt and pepper, chopped jamon Serrano and the cheese. Stir until just incorporated. Let cool until able to safely handle.

4. Form the dough into 1½-inch balls and set on a baking sheet.

5. Then set up a dredging station: in one bowl, pour ½ cup of flour; in another bowl whisk together three eggs; in a third bowl, pour the breadcrumbs.

6. Dip a ball in each station, coating it well in each. Then set on baking sheet.

7. Pour oil into a heavy and deep pot, until 2 ½ inches deep (you can use a knife to measure the depth).

8. Heat the oil on medium high heat until you hit about 370 degrees.

9. Using a slotted spoon, lower one croqueta at a time into the hot oil (CAREFUL!). Put no more than four or five croquetas in the pot at a time so the temperature of the oil does not lower too quickly (make sure it stays around 360-370) and adjust temperature as needed.

10. Using the slotted spoon, turn the croquetas once to fry evenly and remove when they are slightly dark brown in color. Drain on a paper towel. Repeat with remaining batches.

For the parsley coulis, remove the leaves from the stems and puree with oil in a food processor until smooth. For the piquillo pepper coulis, remove any seeds from the piquillo peppers and, again, puree with oil in food processor until smooth. Add a dollop of each coulis to each plate before serving.