Croqueta de jamón
- 250 Grams of flour
- 250 Grams of butter
- 100 grams of iberico ham pieces
- 1 Litre Whole Milk
- 2 tablespoons of grated Grano Padano or Parmesan type cheese
- 500 grams of panko breadcrumbs
- I large egg beaten
- Flour for dusting
- 1 litre of vegetable oil
- Kitchen paper
1. Open the jamon, put it in a bowl. Just cover with boiling water to release the fat and taste of the jamon.
2. Now make the bechamel. In a small pan melt the butter over a medium low heat. Add the flour and stir well. It is important that the flour is cooked properly so leave it until the roux starts to bubble and starts colouring.
3. Give the roux another minute stirring just to make sure, it can look dry at this stage. Slowly add the water that you have drained from the jamon. Then add the milk until you have a firm mixture. I want to be able to stand my wooden spoon in it with it gently falling over.
4. Add the ham pieces and the cheese stir until melted in. Taste. Add pepper.
Put mixture on a flat plate either in the fridge for a few hours or in the freezer for about an hour depending on when you want to eat them.
5. Put extra flour on a plate, whisk egg in a bowl and put the panko breadcrumbs in another bowl.
6. When the mixture is cold and hard put flour on your hands to stop the mixture sticking. Get a ball of the bechamel roll into a sausage shape dip in flour then egg then panko and put on a plate.
Repeat Work quickly so the mix does not soften too much and get sticky (you can always pop it in the freezer while you make a cup of tea, glass of wine depending on time of day).
7. When the mixture is finished put the croquetas in the freezer on baking paper in a row not touching each other until they freeze. About half an hour.
These are now ready to be cooked. Take however many you want out of the freezer.
8. In a saucepan, heat 1 litre of sunflower or vegetable oil or as much as is needed to submerge them. Heat until it gets to 180 or drop a piece of bread in and let it brown. If you want to cook safely with oil I would recommend getting a thermometer. Cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown then take out and put on to kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil.
Tip 1: The secret to making these is to make a thick bechamel using the jamon water to flavour it!
Tip 2: Do not crowd the pan as otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop and the croquetas will split.
Tip 3: Leave too cool for at least 3 minutes otherwise you will burn the roof of your mouth. Make a drink and enjoy!