Croquetas de Jamon

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter
  • 3 heaped tbs plain flour (gluten free if preferred)
  • 1.5 cups milk, heated
  • 1.5g jamón serrano or other dry-cured ham, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs fine dried bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Step 1
    Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch square dish.
  • Step 2
    In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour and, using a wooden spoon or whisk, mix well. Continue to stir or whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the flour is well blended.
  • Step 3
    Add 1/2 cup of the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the remaining cup of milk. Cook, stirring constantly with the spoon or whisk, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming, for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Step 4
    Add the jamon serrano, season lightly with salt (remember, the ham is already salty), and stir until evenly distributed. Cook for 1 minute longer and then pour the contents of the pan into the prepared dish. Spread the mixture evenly. Let cool down for a bit and then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight to allow the mixture to set.
  • Step 5
    Break the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate. With 2 spoons, shape the béchamel-ham mix into walnut-sized croquettes. Roll each one in the bread crumbs, shaking off excess, and then dip into the egg. Roll it again in the bread crumbs. Lay the croquettes platter.
  • Step 6
    Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying. Pour the olive oil to a depth of about 2 inches into a wide, deep, heavy pot and heat over high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, slip 5 or 6 croquettes into the oil, keep submerged and fry, turning them gently, for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden on all sides. Using the slotted spoon, lift out croquettes, drain excess oil over pan, then keep warm in a low oven on plate line with paper towels. Fry the rest making sure oil is hot.

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