Take 1 onion and using the sharp end of the cloves, pierce through the bay leaves and into the flesh of the onion. Combine in a saucepan with milk, bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, cool to just warm (it must be cool or the following mixture will become lumpy), remove studded onion and discard.
Finely chop remaining onion. Melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat, add onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes or until translucent (don’t allow onions or butter to colour). Add 160gm plain flour, a little at a time, mixing continuously, using a wooden spoon, until smooth, add cornflour and mix until smooth and silky. Add infused milk, a little at a time, stirring continuously, making sure that the milk is completely amalgamated before adding more, cook for 5 minutes, then add jamón. Continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture is the consistency of double cream (resist the temptation to scrape up anything caught in the bottom of the pan that might colour the sauce). Add eggwhite, nutmeg and 1 tsp sea salt. Transfer to a wide tray, cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Using clean, lightly floured hands, take a heaped tablespoon of jamón mixture, roll in remaining flour, shape into a croqueta, dip in beaten egg, roll in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess, and place on a tray. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 175C and cook croquetas, in batches,
for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Drain on absorbent paper, scatter with sea salt and serve immediately.
Note Frank Camorra uses Japanese panko
breadcrumbs, which produce a crunchier result than normal crumbs.
They're available from Asian grocery stores and select
"Croquetas are a classic way to use up leftovers from dishes
such as cocido (stew), Spain's national dish. Mum would use the
leftover bits of chicken, beef and pork from the cocido, shred them
finely with her hands and fold them through a gently bubbling
croqueta mixture. No family gathering would be complete without
these on the table. This is a more refined version using jamón
Ibérico, always made fresh and served hot. The crunchy exterior of
breadcrumbs conceals a smooth velvety texture holding the rich
flavour of the jamón. At MoVida we also make them with smoked eel,
poached chicken or seasoned beef and pork. Prawn and egg are
popular too. It's also a dish that can be neatly transformed for
vegetarians, who appreciate the buttery béchamel, laced with garlic
chives or mushrooms. Once mastered, the thick béchamel becomes a
base that can be played around with and manipulated many ways by
the inquisitive cook." - Frank Camorra, MoVida
At A Glance
Serves 25 people
At A Glance
Serves 25 people
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