Spanish Ham Croquettes

Makes approximately 24. Recipe can be scaled.

4 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 scant cup flour (just under one cup)
1 medium onion very finely diced
¼ gallon whole milk at room temperature.
1 pinch nutmeg
½ pound jamón serrano diced into small pieces
flour for breading
2 beaten eggs
bread crumbs for breading

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt the butter and warm the oil in a medium sized pan over medium high heat.
Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes, until it just starts to brown.
Add a pinch of salt and the nutmeg. Don’t add to much salt as the serrano ham is already salty.
Add the diced ham and sauté for 30 seconds more.
Add the flour and stir continuously, until the flour turns a light brown color. You must not stop stirring or the flour will burn!
When the flour changes color, add the milk little by little, always stirring until you incorporate the entire amount. It should take about 20 minutes to add it all.
Turn off the heat and let the dough cool a bit.
Butter the sides of a large bowl or plastic wrap and wrap the croquette dough inside, covered directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
To make the ham croquettes, shape them into little logs (or use a pastry sleeve if you have one.)
Next, while heating a pan full of olive oil on the stove, pass the croquettes through the breading process. First, cover them in flour, then in egg, and, finally, in the breadcrumbs.
Fry the ham croquettes in the hot oil and let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying!

NOTES

The trick to creamy croquettes is to add the milk very slowly and to stir constantly.
You can substitute prosciutto or Iberian ham for the jamón Serrano — or any other high quality cured ham.
You can easily freeze the breaded prepared croquette logs.

They fry up better from frozen



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