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October 21: Spain

Ham Croquettes & Pan con Tomate

I must say, I faced tonight's recipe begrudgingly.  When not doing OWW, we eat many simple grilled, roasted, and steamed dishes. After two nights of cheese, bread, and oil, croquettes were not my first choice. Other than being a tad runny, these were amazing. I am glad I stuck with the program. Paired with a big salad, it was a fabulous dinner! 

If you did not premake the croquettes batter, there is a tortilla recipe below.

Ham Croquettes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for deep-frying
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated
  • 3 ounces jamón serrano or other dry-cured ham, finely chopped
  • salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs
  • salt

In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour and, using a wooden spoon or whisk, mix well. Continue to stir or whisk for about 2 minutes, or until the flour is well blended.

Add 1/2 cup of the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the remaining cup of milk. Cook, stirring constantly with the spoon or whisk, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. Add the jamon serrano. Salt to taste. Cook for 1 minute longer and then pour the contents of the pan into a glass dish. Spread the mixture evenly. Let cool overnight.

Break the eggs into a bowl and beat ligthly. Spread the bread rumbs on a dinner plate. With wet hands shape the béchamel-ham mixture into walnut-sized balls. Roll each croquette in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess crumbs, and then dip into the beaten egg. Lift each croquette from the egg and roll it again in the bread crumbs, coating it evenly. Lay the croquettes in a single layer on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying.

Heat sautee pan over high heat, with about 2 inches of olive oil. Slip 5 or 6 croquettes into the oil, fry, turning them gently, for about 2 minutes until they are golden on all sides. Transfer to an ovenproof platter lined with paper towels to drain further. Keep the croquettes warm in a low oven.

 

Pan con Tomate

  • 1 loaf rustic bread
  • 2 large tomatos
  • salt

Slice bread into ½ inch slices and toast lightly on both sides. Cut tomato into quarters. Rub tomato on bread. Salt and serve.

 

Spanish Tortilla

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, scrambled in a large bowl
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a sauce pan,  add potatoes and onion. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook unti potatoes are cooked, about 15 mintues. Drain. Add the salt and mix well.

In a 10-inch by 2 1/2 inch deep nonstick skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Pour in the potato and onion mixture. Once potatoes start to brown, add the egg mixture. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the bottom of the omelet is very light brown. Using a flat ceramic plate, cover the frying pan and flip the omelet over onto the plate. Immediately slip the uncooked side back into the pan. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the other side is a very light brown.

Remove the omelet from the pan to a plate and cut into 4 wedges.

Printable Recipes

 

Did You Know?

The word Spain is derived from the word Ispania, which means ‘the land of rabbits.’

team sports are not included in the school programs there. Therefore, the Spaniards have to join private clubs if they want to play any type of team sports.

Madrid, Spain’s capital city, is located in the exact center of the country.

 

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