How to make Croquetas de jamon. This is a traditional Spanish tapa. The English translation would be Spanish Ham Croquettes.
Prepare the mixture for the croquetas the day before you plan to serve them, as it is best to let the mixture set in the refrigerator overnight.
Lightly oil a shallow 8-inch dish. Finely chop your dry-cured ham and add a pinch of salt.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan on medium heat.
Once the butter has melted, add the flour and mix well, stirring until it is all blended.
Add half a cup of the milk, and increase the heat. Stir constantly. When the mixture starts to boil, add the rest of the milk and stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it starts to thicken, lower the heat, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until thickened.
Add the dry-cured ham to the mixture and stir in thoroughly. Cook for a minute or two, then pour into your prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours - or preferably overnight - to allow the mixture to set.
When your mixture has set, shape into small short sausage-like shapes by making into a ball with your hands and rolling them on a flat surface.
Beat the two eggs in a bowl until they are blended, and spread the breadcrumbs out on a large plate.
Roll each croqueta in breadcrumbs and shake off any excess crumbs.
Now roll the croquetas in the egg mixture.
And again, roll the croquetas in a final coat of bread crumbs, then refrigerate for half an hour before frying.
Pour about one centimeter's depth of olive oil into a flat saucepan and heat.
Once heated, reduce the temperature to low and place in your croquetas. Turn gently every two minutes (or until the bottom is golden brown) and continue to turn until the entire croqueta is a golden brown all over.
Gently take them out of the oil on lay on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil before serving