When you think of Spanish food, the first thing that generally comes to mind is paella or potato tortilla. However croquetas (especially in Andalucía) are a staple on the tapas menu, and a delicacy I was lucky to learn how to make. My adopted Spanish family invited me into the kitchen to learn how to make the best Spanish croquetas I’ve ever tasted!
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300g chicken breast, finely chopped
- 150g chopped ham
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil***
- 1 ½ chicken stock cube
- 6 – 8 spoons of plain flour***
- 500 – 750ml milk***
- 2 – 3 eggs***
*** Being an authentic recipe, Antonio has taught me this completely from memory (no written recipe). Therefore, the amounts of these ingredients will vary, and it is a matter of trial and error, adding and mixing to get the right consistency. Always start with less and add more as needed.
Fry onion in oil (allow the onion to be covered), on low heat, and stir slowly until clear.
Increase heat and add chicken and stir until half cooked through.
Add ham and reduce heat.
Add a pinch of salt and stir. Make sure there is enough oil to soak up the flour when added (so a little excess).
Add broken up stock cube and mix well.
Gradually add flour and stir. There should be enough flour to soak up all the excess oil and allow the mixture to thicken.
Cook for a few minutes until properly mixed and the result should be a paste-like texture.
Gradually add milk and stir until the mixture is white, thick and sticky (on medium heat). This should take up to 10 minutes.
If the mixture is still runny, or there is still evidence of oil present, add more flour (as the mix needs to have a dry, paste-like consistency).
Empty into a pie dish, and smooth out the mixture (to be 2- 3cm thick), and allow to cool in the fridge (best overnight).
If there is still oil pooling on the surface, you can remove it with a paper towel.
Once cooled, cut and form the mixture into 5 – 6 cm rolls.
Dip them in egg and cover in breadcrumbs.
Fry in a frypan, with enough oil to cover ¾ on med-high heat. Turn the croquetas in the oil to ensure they are cooked consistently.
Enjoy! Best served with a mixed salad, tortilla, salmorejo or ajo blanco.
What are some of your favourite recipes you’ve picked up abroad or miss most from home? Comment below!