Serious Eats: Recipes
The following recipe is from the May 26 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
The croquetas de jamón served at tapas bars have always been among my favorite small plates. And I had always assumed that their deliciousness came from the fact that they were full of salty Serrano ham and deep fried. It wasn't until thumbing through the pages of The Book of Tapas by Simone and Inés Ortega that I realized there was another factor that contributed to the incredible tapa that is the Ham Croquette: béchamel sauce.
The gooey insides of the croquettes are made from a ham-studded béchamel that has been chilled to the point where it is easy to mold into rounds, and then coated in bread crumbs and fried. The frying liquefies the béchamel and gives these croquettes that great creaminess when you bite into them. If you chose to make these great little tapas at home make sure to give them sufficient cooling time once out of the fry oil. The wait might seem like forever, but it will prevent some not very tasty croquette-related mouth sears.