I spent my New Year’s Eve cooking up a Spanish extravaganza for some good friends, the Croquetas de Jamón was definitely the dish of the night so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
The recipe was adapted from a crispy chicken and ham croquettes recipe in a tapas cookbook published by Parragon, which I’ve adapted and made my own.
It’s still officially Christmas so to make these a little festive I’ve used turkey instead of chicken. These are nothing like the mashed potato-dominated croquettes you may have tried in the UK, they are packed full of flavour – in fact, there is not a potato in sight as the turkey and ham mixture is bound together with a creamy paste.
So if you are struggling with ideas for leftover turkey give my Christmas croquetas a go! Don’t be tempted to skip the chilling stages, it is essential to help the mixture bind properly and keep their shape.
Ingredients (makes 8):4 tbsp of Spanish olive oil 4 tbsp plain flower 175ml milk 250g turkey mince 70g of Jamón ibérico 1 tbsp chopped fresh leaf parsley pinch of nutmeg sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season 1 egg, beaten white breadcrumbs groundnut oil aioli to serve
1. Brown off the turkey mince in a separate pan and set aside
2. Heat olive oil in a separate pan, stir in the flour to form a paste and cook on a low heat for 1 minute stirring all the while. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the milk until smooth. Return to the heat and gradually bring to the boil stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add the turkey mince. Beat until smooth. Add the chopped ham, parsley and nutmeg and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer the mixture into a dish and leave for 30 minutes until cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight (or for 2-3 hours at the very least).
5. After chilling, take a big spoonful of mixture and with dampened hands shape into a fat sausage. Dip the croquetas one at a time in the beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Place on a plate and chill for 1 – 2 hours.
6. Heat the groundnut oil in a deep fat fryer to 180 degrees, when a cube of bread will brown in 30 seconds. If you haven’t got deep fat fryer fill a deep saucepan with enough oil to cover the croquetas.
7. Add the croquetas two or three at a time and fry for 10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain well on kitchen paper.
8. Serve the croquetas piping hot and ideally with a bowl of aioli, garlic mayo, for dipping