Croquetas de jamon y queso

Croquetas de Jamon y Queso

This tapas classic comes with its own safety warning - courtesy of the hot liquid filling hidden deep inside. I use panko breadcrumbs for the crunchiest exterior and green chilli for an extra kick - although you could use a teaspoon of dijon mustard if you prefer something more subtle.

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Total time: 70 mins (plus refrigeration)

Yield: Makes 30 croquetas


  • 125g Serrano ham, in one piece
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 70g plain flour (plus 100g extra for dusting)
  • 500ml whole milk, warmed
  • 50g manchego cheese, finely grated
  • 50g mature cheddar, finely grated
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 180g panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 litre groundnut oil


  1. Dice the ham as finely as possible.
  2. Melt the butter and oil over a medium heat and gently fry the chilli for two minutes.
  3. Reduce the temperature and stir in the flour. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Gradually beat in the warm milk to make a thick sauce. Cook, stirring regularly, for a further 15 minutes.
  5. Season well, fold through the grated cheese and chopped ham and remove to a separate bowl to cool. Cover with cling film to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for 3 hours to set.
  6. Put the flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs in separate bowls and shape 1/2tbsp sized balls of the set bechamel. Dust in the seasoned flour and then dip in the beaten egg and breadcrumbs. When all the filling mixture has been used, repeat the egg and breadcrumb dipping a second time to guarantee a crunchy exterior and prevent the filling from leaking.
  7. Heat the oil to 180C and fry the croquetas in batches of 5-6 for two minutes each. Keep warm in a low oven whilst you cook the rest.
  8. Serve immediately.

This recipe was created specifically to pair with the Alhambra Reserva 1925 artisan Spanish lager. What would be your perfect tapa for pairing with Alhambra Reserva 1925? Comment below and you could win a heritage set of Alhambra Reserva 1925 beer to enjoy with your own tapa creations!