Croquetas are a typical Spanish bar snack/tapas dish/side dish and are absolutely phenomenal. They are traditionally made with a béchamel sauce enhanced with cheese and combine with some incredible Serano Jamon.
Ours, although it starts with a béchamel, is completely not traditional as it’s made first of all with cooking chorizo (Spanish people would be totally against using this!) and second of all our Nacho Cheese sauce. This marriage come about when we had some leftover Nacho Cheese sauce when making our Loaded Cheese and Bacon Fries, to which we thought would be amazing in some croquetas. We also had some cooking chorizo to cook as it was going out of date, so in comes Nacho Cheese and Chorizo Croqeutas.
Top Tips for Making Croquetas
Croquetas are a labour of love and do require a little bit fo effort to get the final product. The cooking of the cheese sauce, the cooling, the cooking of the Chorizo, the forming of the croquetas and of course the deep frying too. We have a few top tips for you to follow to ensure you have a hassle free experience. In our opinion, double the recipe and make more than you need, then freeze them before deep frying and keep them in the freezer for a couple months until needed.
- Make sure the cheese sauce is cooled completely before using. Keep in the fridge right up until it is needed.
- Dice the chorizo small and cook until all the fat renders out i.e. the fat runs out of the chorizo pieces in the pan. The Chorizo will be crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and the fat will be separated. Note – keep the fat for cooking in the week, don’t throw it away.
- Allow the chorizo to cool fully before using. This will prevent the chorizo from letting the cheese sauce when forming the Croquetas.
- When forming the Croquetas, make sure you have the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. The cheese sauce will be a bit sticky even when set, but when dipped into flour it will become easier to work with. It will also help the egg to stick.
- Double dip the croquetas in egg and panko breadcrumbs to ensure a solid outer coating.
- Freezing/Refridgerating the croquetas after they have been formed is essential for them to keep their shape, and avoid melting out into the oil when cooking. Our advice is to freeze them if not strapped for time.
- When cooking (they can be cooked from frozen), ensure the oil is between 160-170C. We recommend investing in a meat probe, not only for this recipe but for everything. It’s invaluable in the kitchen.
- Drain the croquetas before eating, and serve right away for best results.
Follow these top tips and we are confident you’ll be making incredible croquetas in no time. Feel free to experiment with different fillings, as long as there is a béchamel base you can add pretty much anything you like. Most of all, we want you to enjoy making them, and enjoy eating them with friends and family!
Chorizo Nacho Cheese Croquettas
- Frying Pan
- Medium sized saucepan
- Metal spider strainer / vegetable strainer
- Baking tray with baking paper
- Kitchen roll
- Meat Probe (to check the oil temp)
- 1/2 Portion Fork & Twist Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 200 g Cooking Chorizo Not the cured variety.
- 2 Eggs
- 50 g Plain Flour
- 80 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 500 ml Oil for deep frying i.e. rapeseed, vegetable, groundnut
Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Please refer to our full recipe card on how to make this saucehttp://forkandtwist.com/nacho-cheese-dip-cinema-style/
- Place the cheese sauce in some tupperware and chill until set - roughly 2-3 hours.
- Cut the chorizo into small cubes
- Get a non-stick frying pan on a medium/high heat. Add the chorizo to the pan without oil.
- Cook until the fat is rendered down and the chorizo is slightly crisp on the outside.
- Separate the fat from the meat, and pour the fat into a glass container. Reserve this for cooking with for the week (it makes great omlettes!).
- Allow the chorizo to cool completely.
Making the Croquetas
- When the chorizo is cool, start making the corquetas. Get the cheese sauce out of the fridge at the last minute.Place the flour into a bowl, whisk some eggs into a bowl and add some panko to a third bowl.
- Take a table spoon full of the cold, set cheese sauce and place onto a baking tray lined with some baking paper. Don't worry about the shape for now.Top Tip - you should make around 12 Croquetas.
- Place 2-3 pieces of cooled chorizo into the cheese sauce.
- Roll each croqueta into the flour and shape into an oblong as best you can.Top Tip - They will be sticky at first (although being super cold will help prevent this), but rolling them in flour creates a bit of a barrier.
- Carefully roll each croqueta into some beaten eggs.
- Then dunk the croqueta into the panko bread crumbs and coat well.
- Dip the croqueta back into the egg briefly, and then a second coat of panko breadcrumbs.Top Tip - this means the croqeuta has a stronger outer layer.
- Place all the completed croquetas onto a fresh piece of baking paper on a baking tray.
- Place into the fridge/freezer to firm up.Top Tip - At this point, they can be frozen until needed. Freeze them first on the baking tray for an hour or two, and then place them into tupperware or freezer bags. They can keep in there for a couple months ready to be fried direct from frozen.
Cooking the Croquetas
- In a heavy bottom sauce pan, fill with cooking oil until 1/2 way up the sides. Heat the oil to between 160-170C.Top Tip - If you don't have a probe, add a small piece of bread to the oil and if it sizzles right away it's ready.
- Using a metal strainer, carefully put the croquetas into the pan one by one. Top Tip - Don't overcrowd the pan. Ensure the croquetas don't touch each other and stick together. Use the metal strainer to carefully move them about and stop them from sticking.
- The croqeutas are done when they are a nice golden brown on the outside. Top Tip - Check one first. Drain it and open it up, if the cheese inside is fully melted and warm they'll all be ready. The trick is to keep the oil around 160-170 but no more. Otherwise the outside will brun and the inside will be undercooked.
- Drain the croquetas on some kitchen paper and repeat the cooking process until all the corquetas are cooked.
- Best served immediately alongside an ice cold beer.
- Make the cheese sauce in advance. As you'll only need half, way not use one half on our Loaded Cheese & Bacon Fries: http://forkandtwist.com/ultimate-cheese-and-bacon-loaded-fries/
- The cheese needs to be full cold and set before using - otherwise it will not hold the shape when forming the croquetas.
- The chorizo needs to be cooked until the fat is rendered out and the meat is slightly crisp. The fat can be reserved for cooking with in the week i.e. eggs, chicken and sautéed veggies.
- Cool the cooked chorizo fully before cooking. This can all be done in advance.
- Double coating the croquetas ensures the solid outer layer when frying.
- Make sure the cheese sauce is as cold as can be when forming the croquetas.
- When the croquetas have been formed, they can be frozen ready for another day (even a for a couple months) and fried from frozen.
- When frying, the oil temp should be between 160-170C. Any more and you risk the outside being burnt and the inside being undercooked.
- Drain them before eating, but they are at their best when served immediately.