Chorizo and Manchego Croquetas

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Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 70 minutes
Servings: 8

This Spanish-inspired version of croquettes is prepared with classic ingredients of the region, including cured chorizo, nutty Manchego cheese and pimentón, an intensely flavorful smoked paprika. If you like, you can serve with a garlic-herb aioli alongside for dipping, but the rich, deep-fried morsels are also delicious on their own.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l) chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g) Arborio rice
  • 2 tsp. pimentón
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) white wine
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) grated Manchego cheese
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 oz. (185 g) cured chorizo, cut into 1/8-inch (3-mm) cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups (2 1/2 oz./75 g) panko
  • 3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions:

Lightly grease a baking sheet.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and pimentón and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue to add the remaining broth 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) at a time until all of the broth has been added and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cheese, cream, lemon juice and chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is thickened, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the rice to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

Lightly grease another baking sheet. Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, roll the rice into 2-inch (5-cm) balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer until the rice balls are firm, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the panko until finely ground. Transfer to a shallow bowl. Place the flour in a second shallow bowl and the beaten eggs in a third shallow bowl.

Working with 1 rice ball at a time, lightly roll in the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip into the eggs, letting the excess drip off, and then roll in the panko to coat evenly. Return the rice balls to the baking sheet. Transfer to the freezer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, pour in canola oil to a depth of 3 inches (7.5 cm) and heat to 350°F (180°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a plate with paper towels.

Working in batches, add the rice balls to the hot oil and fry until deep golden and warmed through, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a spider or a slotted spoon, transfer the croquettes to the paper towel–lined plate and season lightly with salt. Serve warm. Makes 24 croquettes; serves 8.

Recipe inspired by Aerin Lauder in collaboration with the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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