Croquetas (Croquettes) are a popular tapas dish in Spain, and are in fact found in many cuisines around the world. They are in essence a small fried roll encased in bread crumbs. In many countries the filling is mashed potato with flavours of meat, fish, shellfish or vegetables.
In Spain they are instead filled with a thick bechamel sauce and often have ham, serrano jam or prawns in. Totally not good for you but totally delicious!
To make Spanish Croquetas you first need to make a thick bechamel, then add whatever ,filling you like, roll into cylindrical shapes, smother in breadcrumbs and fry. It’s a simple recipe but it can get quite messy when creating them so be prepared for sticky fingers!!
Croquetas de Jamon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 egg, beaten
100g breadcrumbs – I used the Panko japanese ones for extra crispiness
80g ham, chopped into little chunks
Heat the olive oil till it is hot but not smoking. Take off the heat and add the flour stirring constantly till it is a paste. Return to the heat and slowly add the milk, little by little, stirring to form a smooth sauce. Add a touch of nutmeg, pinch of salt and the chopped ham and mix in frying pan until it is thick. (A little less ham would than in the picture is what you should aim for, I was a tad too generous with the ham!)
Leave to cool and then chill in fridge for as long as possible. I did it for 45 mins but would leave it longer next time, even overnight. Form the mixture into little sausage like shapes, then dip into the egg followed by the breadcrumbs. Fry the croquettes in oil – I used a deep fat fryer at 140 degrees. Once golden brown take out and enjoy.