Croquetas | Ham Croquette | Popular Spanish Tapas

Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
100 g serrano ham finely chopped
1 pcs onion peeled and finely chopped
600 ml Milk
3 tablespoons Plain Flour
25 g Butter
a pinch Salt
a pinch Black pepper
Coating
5 tablespoons Plain Flour
2 pcs eggs
10 tablespoons Breadcrumbs

Croquetas | Ham Croquette | Popular Spanish Tapas

Cuisine:

With these simple instructions, you'll never look back on your life before croquetas again!

  • 60
  • Serves 4
  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Coating

Directions

What is Croquetas de Jamon? 

Perfect for a game night or a snacks party – you can never go wrong with a plate of croquetas. There are many variants of croquetas recipe and some even make it with leftovers of last night’s meal. The question is – What is croquetas?

Croquetas are small rolls filled with vegetables, fish, chicken, beef, or lamb. The croquette balls are covered with breadcrumbs and are deep-fried until they turn golden brown. Different cultures have recreated the dish and given a twist to it. In Spain, locals call it, ‘croquetas.’

People usually serve it as a side dish but in Spain, it is popular tapas. You can devour it with different condiments or just pop one right in and enjoy the flavors. The croquetas are usually bound with mash potatoes or bechamel. Since every culture has a different way of preparing this popular dish, the filling and binding ingredients may differ.

Primarily, in Spanish culture, we use bechamel sauce. It is a white sauce prepared with utmost care and love with three ingredients: butter, flour, and milk.

In Spain, croquetas are a perfect match with sangria, wine, and beer. When visiting Spain, you will find multiple variants of croquetas. The most common ones have a stuffing of minced meat or fish.

Croquetas vs Arancini

Croquetas are unbelievably delicious in taste, and they have a range of ingredients too. You might compare them with arancini, but there are some key differences that I would like to point out.

Arancini came from Italy. They are rice balls that are stuffed and then coated with breadcrumbs. Croquetas are mostly cylindrical in shape, but it is a personal preference. Some turn it into balls and then deep-fry it.

Italians use mozzarella in their filling whereas Spaniards use bechamel as the base. The bechamel sauce is made from scratch in homes and it has a very creamy and light texture.

The similarity between the two is that both are deep fried and coated with breadcrumbs. This makes both the dishes somewhat similar but the taste profile differs.

Once you taste croquetas, you wonder where all the creaminess coming from. Was it the potato or the ham? Bechamel gives a smooth and buttery flavor which is irresistible.

To sum it up, croquetas are made of bechamel base whereas arancinis are made of rice. So, there is a stark difference between the two dishes. A batch of croqueta de jamon will be ideal for a tapas party.

What do you serve with croquetas? 

Everyone has a different tastebud. In Spain, you can eat croquetas with salsa. You can create a green or red salsa at home and enjoy the deep-fried rolls with it.

If you are a cheese lover, consider trying croquetas with nacho cheese. There are chances you will enjoy the dish without any dipping or sauce. This snack is supremely flavorful and it can be eaten just like that. In case you are having a party at home and want to serve some condiment with the croquetas, place two types of salsas, cheesy dips, and something spicy with lots of chilis.

Usually, croquetas are served with some delicious drinks like sangria, cocktails, beer, and vino Tinto (red wine) or vino Blanco (white wine). The choice is yours as to what your guests/family enjoy. A sweet cocktail goes perfectly with croquetas.

Recipe Origin 

Chefs around the world have recreated croquettes in many variations. Every culture invented a new recipe and has a different name for it in their language. Even though different kinds of recipes are being formulated and something new gets created, croquettes came from France. In 1898, Monsieur Escoffier, classical French Cuisine’s founder, joined hands with Monsieur Philias Gilbert and created this recipe. Chefs under the training of Monsieur Escoffier traveled the world and shared the recipe with the rest of the world.

Just like technology is getting developed every passing year, a new croquette recipe gets developed in every culture. The original recipe has taken many twists in today’s era. Originally, croquettes were made with beef. Slowly the croquetas recipe branched out and salmon, fish, chicken, and vegetarian croquettes came into existence.

In old days, croquettes were made by hand. Even though it is a time-consuming process but is high on flavors.  You too can make it at home using some classic ingredients. Moreover, making bechamel is not as complex as it seems.

Even though the origin is French, croquettes became popular in the Netherlands in 18th century. It is a well-known dish that has made its way into different cultures. Spaniards have a similar recipe, but they use a variety of ingredients to amplify the taste.

Steps

1
Done

In a wide skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and briefly sauté the finely chopped onion until translucent.

2
Done

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan, but be careful not to boil.

3
Done

Now add the ham and fry everything together for a few minutes. Add the flour, pour a little warmed milk over and stir until you get a compact mass as shown below.

4
Done

Pour in the rest of the milk, season with pepper and salt, reduce the heat and mix gently for 20-25 minutes until you get a thick mass.

5
Done

When the mass becomes thick enough, pour it into another bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool for a few hours. This way you will get a hard mixture that can be easily shaped.

6
Done

Now make croquettes the size of 2 inches and diameter ½ inches (as shown below). Prepare the coating; put flour in one bowl, eggs in the other and breadcrumbs in the third. Now dip the croquettes in the flour, then in the eggs and finally in the breadcrumbs.

7
Done

Put croquettes in hot oil. Fry them for a few minutes until the crust turns golden yellow.

8
Done

That's it. Croquetas de Jamon are done. Bon appetite!

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