By: Mrs Robot
We love Spain, and one of its very best products is jamon, cured ham. Along with simple slices of the stuff, one of my favourite tapas is croquetas de jamon, ham croquettes - cylinders or patties of bechamel and jamon, coated in breadcrumbs. I have to try not to order them too often when we're on holiday, as it's important to try other things!
We bought a whole leg of ham from Asda just before Christmas. It must have been some sort of special as they don't usually have them, but there it was, lying in the chiller cabinet. It's been living in our dining room ever since, covered in a clean tea towel to stop flies and dust getting on it. The packaging recommended wrapping it in cling film, but that's just an easy way to get a mouldy ham...
Today I carved off a chunk of the ham and turned it into croquetas. I didn't follow a recipe, as it was a simple matter of make bechamel (not forgetting a grating of nutmeg, but omitting salt as the meat itself is very salty), sling in finely-diced jamon, then later coat balls of the cooled mixture in breadcrumbs, egg wash and another coat of breadcrumbs. Mine were a bit large, as I haven't yet mastered the art of scooping small amounts (it's amazing how what seems like a little amount of mixture turns into a large cylinder). After a brief fry, they were ready to eat.
Going through the process of dicing, making bechamel and crumbing does seem a bit of a faff for a snack, but as the croquetas are pretty high in salt and fat that's probably a good thing.