Croquetas de Jamón are a Spanish dish - made from a thick béchamel sauce flavoured with Serrano ham. This is rolled into croquettes, coated in breadcrumbs and cooked until golden brown. Delicious as a starter or as part of a selection of tapas dishes.
Peel and finely chop the garlic and the onion. Cut the Serrano ham into small pieces.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and then add the onions. Saute for about 2 minutes or until translucent and soft. Season with salt and pepper and then stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
Heat the milk in a saucepan. Once it comes to the boil, add it to the onions and flour and whisk to make a smooth sauce. Return to a medium heat and cook until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the chopped ham to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes over a low heat.
Pour the mixture into a baking tray or dish and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until well chilled and easy to handle.
In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Combine the bread crumbs and flour in a second bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Take handfuls of the ham mixture and roll into logs about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut each roll into croquettes 1 and a half inches long. Dip each one into the egg wash, shake off the excess and then roll through the seasoned breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet and cover with cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Heat your deep fat fryer or a large pan of sunflower oil. Test that the oil is hot by adding a little bit of bread or one of the croquettes to the oil and it should sizzle when added. Add the croquettes to the pan in small batches and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, place on kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil.
«Make sure to chill the croquettes in the fridge before cooking and make sure to check the temperature of the oil before adding the croquettes. It should be between 160 and 190'C.»