Croquetas de Jamon
- 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
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbs fine dried bread crumbs
Step 1Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch square dish.
Step 2In 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 3Add 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 4Add 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 5Break 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 6Refrigerate 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.