Turkey & Ham Croquetas

Makes 16

turkey ham croquetas 1 - The Artisan Food Trail

With their crunchy exterior and irresistible creamy centre, these croquetas are delicious with a cool beer or glass of white wine. They are also the perfect way to use up some of the Christmas turkey leftovers.
This recipe is based on a Spanish dish and although wouldn’t normally include saffron, we thought we’d make them a little more special.
Eat them dipped into either a rich tomato or chilli sauce or even a chilli jam.

Ingredients

  • 500ml whole milk
  • half an onion
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g plain flour
  • 100g Serrano ham (or any other well-flavoured ham), finely chopped
  • 100g cooked cold turkey, finely chopped
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • nutmeg for grating
  • black pepper
  • 150g fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • oil for deep frying

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Method

Put the milk into saucepan. Stud the onion with the cloves and add to the milk along with the bay leaves and saffron. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer and allow everything to infuse for 20 minutes, watching that it does not boil over.
Turn off the heat and remove the onion, cloves and bay leaves.

Heat the oil and butter in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter melts, add two-thirds of the ham and cook until the ham fat begins to melt.

Reduce the heat and gradually stir in the flour, cooking gently and stir regularly for about 8–10 minutes.

Gradually stir in the hot milk and beat in well, until it becomes a smooth paste. Cook for another 15 minutes until it has the consistency of smooth mashed potato. Stir in the rest of the ham, add the turkey, the cheese and season to taste with a grating of nutmeg and some black pepper. Put the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool. Place some clingfilm on to the surface of the sauce to prevent it from forming a skin and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you can leave overnight, all the better, as the mixture needs to be very cold to make it easier to work with.

Put the beaten eggs into a bowl, and the breadcrumbs into another. Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into cylinder shapes and roll them in the breadcrumbs. Next, dip them into the egg and coat them in the breadcrumbs again. Place them on plate and put in refrigerator for an hour to firm up.

Either use a deep fat fryer or carefully use a wok. Heat the oil to 180C, or until it begins to shimmer. Prepare a baking tray with kitchen roll. Fry the croquetas in batches of four for a couple of minutes until golden all over. They will start to make a sputtering sound when done. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper-lined tray. Keep warm in a very low oven while you make the rest.
Serve warm.

turkey ham croquetas 2 - The Artisan Food Trail

NOTES ON INGREDIENTS:
The turkey in this recipe is a free range Norfolk Bronze from Morton’s Traditional Taste.
In place of the Serrano ham you could also Yorkshire Pancetta available from Town End Farm Shop.
For the dipping sauce try Susannah’s Sauces Succulent Tomato Sauce or for something with more bite, perhaps Hot or Sweet Chilli Jam from Hibiscus Lily, or Pure Heat Chilli Sauce from Edible Ornamentals.

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