Croquettes are an extremely popular part of the Spanish tapas, i.e., appetizers or snacks served in bars. Every Spanish household has its own special recipe for making these mouth-watering snacks and will claim that theirs is the best. Today, we show you how to make classic Spanish ham croquettes.
Steps to Make Ham Croquettes
Things you’ll need:
- Ham – 2 to 3 sheets
- Onion, finely chopped – ½ large onion
- Flour – 1 tablespoon
- Salt – to taste
- Milk – 1 cup
- Breadcrumbs – ½ a cup
- Egg – 1
- Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
Step 1. Cook the chopped onions and ham
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot add the chopped onions.
- Sauté the chopped onions over medium heat till they turn translucent. Meanwhile, carefully cut the ham sheets into small squares.
- Once the onions are done, add 1 tablespoon of flour and salt, as per taste.
- Stir for around 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped ham bits; cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 2. Prepare the sauce
- Once the ham is done (do not overcook it), add 1 cup of milk. Pour it in slowly with one hand and keep mixing with the other to prevent the formation of lumps.
- Keep stirring the mixture over low heat till it reaches a thick custard-like consistency. It will take around 40 minutes of slow cooking to get the perfect béchamel sauce.
- Once your sauce is done, turn off the heat and transfer the mix to a plate and let it cool down.
Step 3. Make the croquettes
- To make Spanish ham croquettes, cut the congealed mixture into small rectangles and use your hands to give them a cylindrical shape.
- Whisk an egg thoroughly to use it as a binding agent.
- Drop the croquettes one at a time into the breadcrumbs and dust off any extra crumbs.
- Then dunk the croquettes in the beaten egg mixture and coat them with a final layer of breadcrumbs.
Step 4. Fry the croquettes
- Heat enough vegetable oil in a pan for frying.
- Once the oil is hot, add a few croquettes at a time and deep-fry till golden brown.
- Serve while hot.
- While this recipe uses ham, you can also use salted cod or chicken instead. If you want to make vegetarian croquettes, you can use finely shredded spinach leaves instead.
- After deep-frying the ham croquettes, you can rest them on paper towels for a few minutes and let them absorb the excess oil.
- You can also add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves along with the chopped onions for added flavor.
- The creamy sauce and the deep-frying can make these croquettes a bit too heavy; you can add herbs like chopped parsley or cilantro to add a hint of freshness.
- You can prepare the mixture a day in advance and leave it overnight in the fridge; this will give it more time to set and then all you have to do is shape, dip and deep fry them.
- If you are interested in more Spanish recipes, then check out how to make an authentic Spanish omelet or chicken in white wine.