At the beginning of the pandemic, with the first confinement back in March, I already made you participate in this croquettes recipe, inherited from my mother and with which my daughter is doing her first steps. He doesn’t dare with the béchamel yet (that’s what I’m here for), but the set of spoons to shape them and the shawl dominates him. They all come out the same size, like “regulation”, as a cook from my childhood used to say. Today I share this family recipe again to honor the delicious croquettes on their International Day, today Saturday, January 16.
As it is the quintessential aperitif that I serve when people come home, my croquettes have become famous among our circle of friends, and they are disappointed if I do not put them on some occasion. Although it goes without saying that fame, fame like those that win the Madrid Fusión competitions they do not have, no matter how much mine compare them with the most reputable in the gastronomic scene. That’s love.
I started making them with my mother as a child, and I never tire of saying that this recipe doesn’t have any tricks. You just need to have patience with the wooden spoon to achieve the perfect creamy dough texture, a good Iberian ham, a fine batter and its frying in olive oil, if possible in a deep fryer so that they are done well on all sides. Courage and put on your apron.
White flour (three glasses)
1 brick of whole milk
Ham (Iberian mince) (200 grms)
Nutmeg (to taste)
THIS IS HOW THEY ARE MADE (NON-ACADEMIC VERSION FOR TORPONAS)
Have all the ingredients on hand and the mobile away because for a little while you need full attention.
Put a low medium saucepan on the fire (I use a stainless steel one that does not stick) and pour a jet of oil until it covers the bottom. Before it gets too hot, add all the flour. Immediately stir until it becomes a ball. Now it’s about getting that dough to turn into cream.
Let’s go there!
Now comes the most important part: getting the perfect béchamel texture. Go pouring the milk (of time) on top of the ball and stir, stir and stir with a wooden spoon until your arm hurts. You will see that it is unraveling and forming a cream full of small balls. Its normal. Do not panic. It is key that you incorporate the milk slowly, very slowly, so that you can assess whether the flour asks for more or no longer absorbs liquid. It is better that at this point you fall short than to go overboard and get flooded.
When it is chubby but not thick, take the mixer and pass it at medium speed.
It is better to put the “third arm” (no one will know) so that there are lumps. Not to mention that. If necessary, add another little milk. When it acquires a creamy and uniform texture, add the crushed Iberian ham and mix it well by giving a few more turns (good bicep exercise). You have to boil chop, chop, chop (like little erupting volcanoes), so the dough doesn’t taste like flour. Then add the nutmeg and stir a little more. What has not been so difficult?
You’ve already been through the worst.
Pour the béchamel into a deep dish and let it cool on the kitchen table.
An hour later you put it in the fridge and let it sleep there for a few hours (I leave it overnight, it takes on more flavor).