Croquetas de jamón
Makes approximately 50 croquettes.
- 1 litre/1 ¾ pints milk
- 140ml/¼ pint olive oil
- 125g / 4½ oz Serrano or ibérico ham, chopped
- 4 tablespoons chopped spring onion, including some of green
- Pinch of thyme
- 110g/4 oz plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 200g/7 oz fine dry bread crumbs
- 3 eggs beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- Olive oil for frying
1. Bring the milk to the boil and set aside. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the ham gently for 2 minutes without letting it brown. Pour the oil through a sieve into a heat-proof bowl, reserving the ham.
2. Return the oil to the pan and sauté the onion without letting it brown, 2 minutes. Add the thyme and stir in the flour. Cook 2 minutes without browning the flour. Whisk in the hot milk, stirring hard as the mixture thickens. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth, 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the ham, salt and pepper.
3. Spread the mixture in a large, shallow tin that has been lightly oiled. Covered with plastic wrap and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
4. Place the bread crumbs in another shallow tin. Place the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl. Working with part of the croquette mixture at a time (return tin to the refrigerator), drop spoonfuls into the tray of breadcrumbs. Roll them in the crumbs to form 5cm/2½ inch cylinders. (Use about 22g / ¾ oz of the mixture for each croquette.)
5. Use two forks to dip each croquette in beaten egg, letting excess egg drip off, then roll the croquettes in crumbs again. Take care to completely coat the croquettes so that filling doesn't leak out in the hot oil. As they are shaped and breaded, place them on a tray. Allow to dry for at least 30 minutes.
6. Place oil in a deep fryer or in a deep frying pan with a depth of at least 25mm / 1 in. Heat to 180°C/360°F. Fry the croquettes in batches until they are golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.