Pea and ham croquetas

These traditional Spanish nibbles from Allegra McEvedy make a perfect bitesize appetizer. Serve with dry sherry
By Allegra McEvedy
Pea and ham croquetas
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 20 min resting
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 40 g butter
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 25 g parmesan, finely grated
  • 130 g jamon, or Spanish ham, which is cured and dried, thick sliced and then cut into small dice
  • 200 g frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 litre vegetable oil

For the coating

  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water
  • 1 handful seasoned flour
  • 100 g fine breadcrumbs

To serve

  • lemon wedges
  • glass of sherry

Tips and Suggestions

if you cant find jamon, you can also use a British cooked ham but the flavour is much less intense so go for 150g ham and 180g peas.

Method

1. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan then add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes on a medium heat. Add the jamon.

2. Slowly pour in the chicken stock whilst stirring. Add the parmesan and bring to the boil. Allow to thicken, then season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread the mixture thinly onto a small baking tray to cool it down (if youre in a hurry you can put it outside or in the fridge until its cold and solid).

4. Blitz the peas in a food processor to break them up, and stir into the now cold mixture.

5. Dampen the palms of your hands, pick up a couple of tablespoons of the paste and roll into thick thumb-sized cylinders. If they are too soft to work with put the shaped croquetas into the fridge until they are firmer, then re-shape.

6. For the coating: put seasoned flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs in three separate trays.

7. Coat the croquetas completely with the flour, then the egg mix, then roll in the breadcrumbs.

8. Pour the oil in a wide saucepan to a depth of about 3-4cm, making sure that the level comes nowhere near the top of the pan so theres room for it to bubble up.

9. Fry the croquetas in 2-3 batches for 34 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. If you are using a deep fat fryer, set the temperature to 160C for approximately 6 minutes.

10. Place the cooked croquetas on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Serve with lemon wedges and a glass of sherry.

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