Posted in Family, Food, School

Croquetas de Jamon

It’s that time of year when organization that I seem to just get a handle on eludes me and I’m back to square one.  It’s May and it’s soccer season, only a few more weeks and it’s summer!  I’m not sure what my days have been consisting of other than focusing on exercise and food.  I’m doing my best to focus on eating properly, although it’s been a little difficult the last two days.  I haven’t over eaten but I’ve eaten things that I had really no business eating.

My daughter asked if I would make something for her Spanish class and being the adventurous cook that I am, I said, “sure!”.  Yesterday the better half stayed home and we headed to our local Mexican grocery.  We didn’t find what we were looking for, but we did happen to venture into the Mexican bakery next door!  Can I just say WOWZA!  The smell when you walked through the door was something dreams are made of, that sweet, warm, freshly baked smell that always accompanies Mom’s homemade cookies.  You know it, it smells like your favorite Yankee Candle scent!

Anyway, we walked out of there with a $10 bag of delicious Mexican baked goods.  We stopped in the middle of the parking lot and taste tested everything we bought!  I so enjoy tasting things I’ve never tried before.  I can’t say that I didn’t like any of it, but of course, my selections consisted of chocolate and powdered sugar covered and cream filled goodness.  The items he chose were more of a “cornbread” texture and taste.  None of it was bad, that’s for sure.

This morning, I dove right in to making the dish for my daughter’s class.  Croquetas de Jamón, basically it’s described as Béchamel sauce with ham and onions, but it’s extremely thick and dense.  It’s made, refrigerated, rolled into cylinder shapes, rolled in egg, breadcrumbs and fried in olive oil.  It’s a lot of steps and it’s certainly NOT diet friendly!

If you’re looking for something to try, give it a shot.  Let me know what you think!

I am giving you the recipe as I believe it should be made.

Croquetas de Jamón

3 1/2 T. butter
3/4 c. flour
1 3/4 c. warm milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. Serrano ham, finely chopped*
salt & pepper
2 eggs, beaten – for coating
fine, dry breadcrumbs – for coating
olive oil – for frying

*This is what we ventured to the Mexican grocery for, they didn’t have it and had no knowledge of what I was referring to – they took me to the chilis.  We actually found this at Kroger in the deli section, $3.99 for 3 oz.  One package will be enough for the recipe.

Melt the butter in frying pan.  Add flour and stir for three to four minutes until blended.

Remove pan from heat and add milk bit by bit incorporating it well before adding more.  Place pan back on heat and bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly.  The sauce will become VERY thick.  Turn the heat to low and cook for five minutes, stirring.

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Gently saute the onion in the olive oil until soft and clear.  Add chopped ham and stir into sauce.  Season with salt & pepper (use discretion as the ham is salty on it’s own)

Spread the mixture in a glass baking dish (I used an 8 x 12 dish).  

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Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  When cool, cut the mixture into small bars.  Use your hands to shape each bar into a cylinder.  Coat each croqueta with egg and breadcrumbs.

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Heat the olive oil in a small pan.  Deep fry a few at a time until they are dark gold on the outside and warm and cooked on the inside.  

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Drain on paper towel and serve hot.  

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