The guilty pleasure Tapa.
I don’t usually deep fry or even shallow fry at La Rosilla, with the thought process that every little helps when it comes to cutting back, especially after the festive season. Some recipes that state frying can often be oven baked, but then there are some, like Croquetas, when cutting corners or calories should I say, just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Croquetas are usually a treat saved for when out Tapa’ing, and are a favourite of Familia Drake and especially the nin@s. Seen on most Spanish menus, you can often judge an establishments quality on their Croquetas. With many different fillings, and nowadays getting makeovers and modernised with more out there ingredients and accompaniments.
Traditions are important to me, and especially traditional recipes and my favourite Croquetas are made from leftover Jamon Serrano. As our Christmas Jamon was coming to its end of easily sliced delicious morsels, not be wasteful it was time to carve the remains and finely chop the jamon into dice and get ready for Croquetas de Jamon of La Rosilla.
Now Croquetas are a labour of love, but relatively easy to make with few ingredients, as they say ‘it’s all in the preparation’.
Many believe on their first tasting of croquetas they have a mashed potato or even a cheesy filling, but NO it’s actually a rich Bechamel sauce. The perfect croqueta should be hot and crispy on the outside and creamy and oozy and flavoursome on the inside.
If you don’t have a Jamon leg lurking in your larder, don’t fret you can add many ingredients to your fillings ; Spinach, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, prawns, fish and chicken to name a few.
Croquetas de Jamon
60 g Butter
60g Olive oil
1 onion chopped
300g Jamon finely chopped
120g plain flour
1 litre of milk ( I use semi)
Fresh ground pepper
3 eggs beaten
Flour to Pané
Breadcrumbs ( I whizz, stale bread up in my food processor and keep in a bag in the freezer)
Oil for frying
How to make Croquetas :
Gently heat butter and olive oil together in a wide pan.
Add the finely chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until golden.
Next add the chopped Jamon and stir for a minute.
Stir in the flour and cook out for 2-3 mins until slighlty browned.
Gradually stir in the milk, wait for each pour to be absorbed before adding the next, keep stirring otherwise it will catch on the bottom.
Once you have added all the milk, keep stirring until the dough / sauce gets thicker and starts to leave the pan edges when stirred and creates a thick mass.
Tip the slightly cooled sauce mixture into a flat dish, that has been lined with plastic film, cover the dough with film on top, and leave to cool and rest in the fridge upto 24 hrs.
When ready to fry, tip the dough onto a chopping board and cut into 24 squares, then gently and quickly roll each square into your croqueta shape.
Prepare 3 bowls with beaten egg, flour and breadcrumbs.
Then coat each ball in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, make sure they are thoroughly covered.
Heat your frying oil in a pan, test the oil is hot by dropping a little bread in. Then carefully lower each croqueta into the oil and fry for 3-4 mins until crisp and golden. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.