Croquetas de jamón / Ham Croquette

Having been M.I.A. for a few days, I leave you today (to make up for) with a Spanish cuisine 101 recipe: Croquetas de Jamón. One of those wonderful inventions that profit from the leftover chicken, cod or ham that we might have at home, and turn them into a delicious snack worthy of the finest palates.

For years I have been reluctant to making homemade croquettes; for fear that they were not good enough, or that they would break while frying or for the convenience (and laziness) of buying precooked. But the other day I decided to give it a try,  following a fantastic recipe I found at the Enciclopedia de Gastronomía, a very nice web full of delicious recipes and wit.

I hope you feel encouraged to make them too, the taste is incomparable and is unlikely you’ll find something as tasteful as these at the grocery store.

According to Pepe Iglesias, the author of the web, while making ham croquettes one must take some precautions:

First, use the remains of a good Iberian ham, those little bits that are not eaten because they are attached to bone and dry, but whose taste is so intense and concentrated.

I must add that if you do not have this ham, is OK. We’re practicing, learning new recipes, and no one learns to drive in a Ferrari. So if you do not have this ham at home or if it is too expensive at the store, simply use some other good quality ham.

Secondly, you have to chop it (the ham) and give it a boil in the milk that we are going to use for the béchamel. This will rehydrate and release all the flavor into the milk and, consequently, in the béchamel.

No objection to this advice from me. It is indeed a critical step.

Finally, you should make the dough and leave it overnight, cooling in the fridge. They also can be frozen before frying for unexpected guests; in that case after frying don’t forget to check that they are hot inside, if not put them in the oven for a while.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 Liter of milk
  • 200 g of ham
  • 1 egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil

Directions

In a nonstick pan over medium heat stir together butter and  flour to make a roux until it begins to take a beautiful golden color, remove from heat and add a cup of warm milk (in which we have previously boiled the ham), stir until a dough is formed and put it back in the heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

Repeated the operation this time adding two cups of milk (always out of the heat), stir to mix the dough, which this time will be more creamy and bring it back to the heat stirring continuously until it starts to boil again.

Repeat the operation again, this time adding the rest of the milk. Now, when we put it back in the heat, you must allow it to boil three times, leaving a moment away from the heat between each one.

After this steps, add the chopped ham and stir well. Let the dough to cool and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Now, for the breading.  Help yourself with to spoons to shape the croqueta  (pictured), deep it in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs, let stand a couple of hours in the fridge and fry in plenty of hot olive oil.

It is important to keep the oil at a temperature as constant as possible, so it is not advisable to throw too many croquettes at a time so that the temperature doesn’t drop sharply.

Drain on paper towels the excess oil and serve.

Enjoy!

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21 thoughts on “Croquetas de jamón / Ham Croquette

  1. Mad Dog May 4, 2012 at 11:46 Reply

    They look amazing – I love croquetas! Glad you are back too ;-)

  2. ChgoJohn May 4, 2012 at 12:25 Reply

    Your croquetas are cooked perfectly. Just look at that golden color! Your tip about boiling the ham in the milk is a good one, ensuring for a very flavorful filling. YUM!

    • Bluejellybeans May 6, 2012 at 00:18 Reply

      Hi John! Thanks for your kind comment, I’m glad you think they look good :)

  3. glutenfreezen May 4, 2012 at 13:09 Reply

    They are gorgeous and perfect! :)

  4. Chica Andaluza May 4, 2012 at 14:14 Reply

    We missed you! I adore croquetas de jamon, my favourite :) Don´t make them that often, but I really should. Your bechamel is a great consistency. Sometimes mine is too soft and it all gets very messy!

    • Bluejellybeans May 6, 2012 at 00:22 Reply

      ¡Muchas gracias Tanya! Estoy intentando mantener el ritmo, pero me está costando muchísimo últimamente…This was my first time with the croquetas and everybody was very pleased with the result; next time, chicken croquetas!

  5. niasunset May 4, 2012 at 16:43 Reply

    Seems so delicious, so beautiful… I am sure my son will be crazy with them. Thank you dear Giovanna, with my love, nia

  6. [...] catch up on blog posts from my fellow bloggers, ooohhhinng and awwwwing over all of their amazing recipes upon recipes upon more recipes, stories and more stories, and gorgeous words, photographs and [...]

  7. promenadeplantings May 4, 2012 at 20:21 Reply

    Fantastic tios – I like the one about not learning to drive in a Ferrari best :) But the recipe looks delicious, I coul djust eat a few of those right now!

    • Bluejellybeans May 6, 2012 at 00:27 Reply

      Thanks! Haha, yes the Ferrari… but it’s true ;) I’m glad you like it!

  8. ceciliag May 7, 2012 at 02:36 Reply

    Who told you i love croquette! I adore these. .i am going to have to try and make them.. have a lovely day Giovanna. c

    • Bluejellybeans May 7, 2012 at 15:26 Reply

      Thank you Celi!I had the feeling that you may like these… ;)

  9. bitsandbreadcrumbs May 7, 2012 at 04:26 Reply

    I am so excited to see these and this recipe and technique. I’ve had these at a local restaurant, The Iberian Pig, and just loved them…and now I can make them! Thank you!

    • Bluejellybeans May 7, 2012 at 15:36 Reply

      Thank you for commenting! I’m glad to know that you’ll make this recipe. Is really good :)

  10. sportsglutton May 7, 2012 at 22:19 Reply

    You had me at Iberian ham, always makes any recipe superb. Hope you had a great weekend!

  11. Just A Smidgen May 8, 2012 at 21:53 Reply

    Wow! I’m glad you came back.. these look fantastic and the whole process of making them is unlike anything I’ve ever made before. This is the sort of snack that would be so impressive for company:) xoxo Smidge

    • Bluejellybeans May 10, 2012 at 12:23 Reply

      Hi Barbara!
      Thanks a lot for your comment :) I’m glad to be back. Yes, these are perfect for entertaining; simply add wine or beer and presto!

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