These crispy Spanish croquetas (croquettes) have a delicious, velvety filling and are served with a smoky, garlicky dipping sauce.
Yesterday on my birthday, I received a great birthday surprise- my recipe for Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimenton Aioli was chosen as a finalist in this week’s recipe contest on the website Food52! For those of you who are not familiar with the site, Food52 is a wonderful site for home cooks that was started by accomplished food writers and editors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. They started the site with the belief that the best recipes come from home cooks and they envisioned the site to be a way for talented home cooks to “show off their work, a place where cooks of all levels come to be inspired and to be part of a constructive and supportive community.”
Every week they hold recipe contests on the site and two finalists are selected. Then all of the members vote on their favorite recipe. Besides winning some cool prizes, the winner gets their recipe published in the Food52 cookbook! I was fortunate to have three of my recipes published in their first cookbook. Then yesterday I found out that another one of my recipes was chosen as one of the two finalists (out of 173 entries) in this week’s contest for “Your Best One-Bite Party Snack.”
My recipe for Serrano Ham and Manchego Croquetas with Smoked Pimenton Aioli was inspired by the wonderful trip to Spain that my husband Pete and I took last year for our anniversary. We ate our way around the country and tasted a countless number of tapas, the typical small plates or snacks found in Spanish cuisine. Although we loved all of the food, our favorite indulgence was the croqueta- a Spanish croquette filled with a delicious creamy filling and served with a garlicky dipping sauce on the side.
My version of Spanish croquetas uses classic Spanish flavors including Serrano ham and Manchego cheese. And to dip the crispy bites into, I make an easy aioli using Pimenton de la Vera, a delicious Spanish smoked paprika which gives the aioli a lovely color.
I’m so excited that my recipe won and is going to be published in the upcoming Food52 cookbook! You can check out the recipe on the food52 site HERE.