Ham and Shrimp Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamón con Gambas)

Bread the croquettes generously; this will prevent them from bursting open when frying.

Ham and Shrimp Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamón con Gambas)
A Madrid specialty, these croquettes are a delightful package of ham and shrimp fried to perfection.
Yield: makes 20

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 14 cups flour
  • 3 14 cups milk, hot
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 13 lb. sliced serrano ham, chopped
  • 13 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Spanish olive oil
  • 3 cups dried fine bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1⁄4 cup of the flour; cook until just golden, about 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, onions, and parsley; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring frequently, until thick, 18–20 minutes. Strain sauce through a fine sieve. Return to saucepan with ham and shrimp; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thick, 12–14 minutes. Season with salt. Chill overnight.
  2. Pour olive oil into a large pot to a depth of 2". Heat until a thermometer registers 375°. Put remaining 1 cup flour, bread crumbs, and eggs into three separate wide shallow dishes. Using flour-dusted hands, form 2 tbsp. chilled ham mixture into a 3"-long oval; dredge in flour, roll in eggs, then coat with bread crumbs. Shake off excess. Repeat to create another coating of eggs and bread crumbs (but not flour). Transfer to a plate. Repeat process to make 20 croquettes in all. Fry croquetas until golden, about 1 1⁄2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.