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Ham Croquettes Recipe - Croquetas de Jamón

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Croquetas de Jamon - Ham Croquettes (c)

Croquetas de jamon - Ham Croquettes

Lisa Sierra (c) 2007 Licensed to About.com Inc.
"Croquetas" - croquettes are small, lightly breaded and fried sort of fritter. They are a sure hit as an appetizer or an afternoon snack with a glass of beer or wine. They are creamy and smooth and very tasty. The best part is you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it. Then, take the "croquetas" out of the freezer, coat and pop them into the frying pan.

Prep Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100ml) chicken broth
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (107 gr) flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup very finely hand-minced ham
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water
  • bread crumbs for coating
  • olive oil for frying

Preparation:

This croquetas de jamon recipe makes about 6 servings as an appetizer.

Tip: Make sure that the ham if very finely minced, so it can be mixed thoroughly with the dough.

Heat the 8 Tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk and the chicken broth, stirring without stopping. Add nutmeg, salt andd pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and smooth.

Add the minced ham and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes on low heat, continuing to stir. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and refrigerate at least 3 hours until mixture is cold. If you are preparing a day or so ahead, you can cover the mixture tightly and keep refrigerated until you are ready to fry the croquettes.

TIP: If the mixture is spread out in a thin layer on a flat dish, you will need to refrigerate it for less time. A large glass baking dish works well.

Pour the bread crumbs into a small, wide bowl. Beat the eggs with water in a small, wide bowl. Cover your hands in flour, then divide the mixture into 1-inch balls and set on a plate so that they are not touching.

Pour enough olive oil in a medium to large frying pan to cover 1/2 inch deep. Heat the olive oil for frying to about 355F degrees. Dip the croquettes in the beaten egg and coat with crumbs by rolling in bowl. Place the croquettes in the hot oil and fry quickly, turning several times, until golden. Remove the croquettes with a slotted spoon and set on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve immediately.

If croquettes will not be served immediately, place in a warm oven (200 degrees) for up to 30 minutes.

If you prefer, you can use a deep-fryer to fry the croquettes. Be sure not to over-cook them!

Variation

If you want variety or simply do not eat ham, substitute 1/2 cup finely minced, cooked chicken for the ham.

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