Croquetas de jamón are very common on bar counters and in homes across Spain, normally served as tapa. The perfect croqueta is creamy inside but crispy on the outside. In this recipe we have used some of the Iberian ham that we carve at our store, in small dices. Right now we don´t sell Iberian ham for croquetas but it will be soon on the online store, stay tuned!
for 12-18 croquettas
- 1dl of olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 70g of flour (around 1 and 1/2 dl)
- 100g of diced Iberian ham
- 0,75L of milk
For breading the croquetas:
- 2 eggs
- 200g of bread crumbs for breading
- Olive oil for frying
1. Place the milk (0,75L) with the diced ham on a pot and bring it up to simmer. This is a little trick! It will make the ham a little softer and will give the milk a delicious ham flavor.
2. In a sauce pan add a bit of the 1dl of olive oil and fry the onion on a low heat until it starts getting yellow. Add then the rest of the oil and start adding the flour (slowly). Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon for example. Continue to stir until the flour is well blended. In this step we are starting to prepare the béchamel sauce for the croquetas. All this step must be done on low heat and the main purpose is to cook the flour before we start adding the milk.
3. Now it is time to start adding the milk with the ham. It has to be done very slowly and stirring constantly! First the mixture will be very thick and then it will get more liquid as you continue adding the milk. Bring the heat to medium and bring the mixture to boil, stirring constantly to prevent lumps for forming. The béchamel sauce is ready when it is thick. How thick? This is something that you will learn after preparing few batches. Do not get discouraged if something goes wrong the first time you try,
4. Spread the mixture on a bowl and let it cool down. Cover it and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Normally we prepare the croquetas the next day.
5. Break the 2 eggs on a bowl and whisk until blended. Spread the bread crumbs on a dinner plate. With the help of two spoons, shape the béchamel-ham mixture into a croqueta (you decide how big). Roll each croqueta into the bread crumbs, then dip into egg and again roll into bread crumbs. Make sure that every croqueta is coated evenly. Place the croquetas in a single layer on a plate and refrigerate for a couple of hours before frying.
6. Pour olive oil onto a frying pan to a depth of about 2-3 cm. When the oil starts smoking add the croquetas and fry gently turning them until they are golden on all sides. Remove the croquetas from the pan and place them on a plate covered with paper towels to drain any excess of oil.
Tips: Serve the croquetas immediately after frying while they are still warm!