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Recipe: How to make Spain’s classic croquetas de jamón

January 16th is officially Internationally Croquette Day.

Recipe: How to make Spain's classic croquetas de jamón
Photo: thespanishcuisine.com

The golden crunchy snack has its very own international day of celebration so make sure to devour at least one plate of the Spanish speciality this week. 

You can find meaty versions, fishy versions and even vegetarian croquetas but by far the most popular filling is the traditional jamón iberico. 

So for those of you who don't feel like leaving the house in search of these tasty morsels, here's how to make them at home. 

Peruse any Spanish menu and you are likely to find the classic croquetas de jamón – the golden crunchy outside containing a deliciously creamy filling. 

Luis Valerio from spanishcuisine.com lets us in to the secret of how to make a perfect croquette. 

Ingredients

– Half an onion

– Two eggs (hard boiled)

– Four tbsp olive oil

– Three oz of serrano ham (pieces)

– ¼ tsp salt

– ¼ cup olive oil

– Three oz of flour (all-purpose)

– ½ litre of milk

– One tsp of salt

– Two eggs (medium)

– Breadcrumbs (dried)

– One cup of vegetable oil 


Photo: thespanishcuisine.com

Recipe 

Hard boil eggs to your liking and then peel and chop.

Peel and chop finely half an onion.

Chop finely the Serrano ham pieces or slices.

Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a pot. When warm add chopped onion, Serrano ham, hard-boiled eggs and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook over low heat for 10 – 12 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pot with the onion.

Once warm add the all-purpose flour and cook over low heat for three to five minutes whisking constantly with a balloon whisk until the mixture is smooth and turns a light, golden colour.

Slowly (1/4 a cup for each time) add the room temperature milk to the pot with the mixture and cook over medium heat whisking constantly. Season with one teaspoon of salt.

Bring it to a boil and cook over medium heat for four to five minutes stirring continuously (taste and add more salt if needed). If the béchamel sauce is gritty, use the blender to make it smooth.


Photo: Tim Lucas/Flickr 

Set the béchamel aside and let it cool for around three hours or until firm.

Whisk eggs in a bowl and put breadcrumbs on a plate.

Shape a tablespoonsful of mixture and roll in breadcrumbs.

Dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs again.

Heat one cup of vegetable oil in a skillet. When hot add croquettes in batches and fry until golden (one to two minutes each side).

Transfer croquettes to a plate.

Serve warm and enjoy your Spanish ham croquettes recipe!

(Note: You don't have to eat your croquettes all at once – although it is tempting! You can freeze them before frying). 

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TRAVEL

OFFICIAL: Vaccinated global travellers will finally be able to come to Spain from June 7th

The Spanish government on Saturday June 5th published a state bulletin confirming that it will modify the entry rules for vaccinated non-EU/Schengen citizens from June 7th. 

OFFICIAL: Vaccinated global travellers will finally be able to come to Spain from June 7th
Photo: ALEX WONG / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

As we reported ahead of time on Friday, Spain has gone ahead and changed its entry rules for non-EU/Schengen vaccinated travellers, only seven days after it extended a ban on non-essential travel from outside the bloc.

This has caused plenty of confusion over the past week, as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had initially said that all vaccinated travellers, “regardless of their country of origin”, would be able to come to Spain from June 7th, whereas last weekend’s state bulletin BOE made no mention of vaccinated travellers and in fact extended the ban on non-essential travel from third countries until June 30th.

In the end, Sánchez and his government have stuck to their word, and were just keeping their cards close to their chest while preparing a new BOE with conditions that modify the travel rules published only seven days earlier.  

What has Spain now confirmed?

Spain has “modified the criteria for the temporary restriction of non-essential travel from third countries to the EU and Schengen countries” the document begins. 

The standout modification is that people who wish to travel to Spain from outside the EU/Schengen Zone can do so from June 7th if they have a vaccination certificate and have had their full vaccination treatment or last dose 14 days before travel. 

In essence, vaccinated people have been added to the list of non-EU/Schengen travellers who are exempt from the ban on non-essential travel to Spain, which up to now had been mainly for Spanish nationals and residents, students, several different categories of key workers and in some cases spouses and family members of Spanish/EU and those who can prove force majeure reasons (more details here and here). 

This BOE is the first official document confirming Pedro Sánchez’s words on May 21st, and has been released less than 48 hours before the new rule comes into effect, at 00:00 hours on June 7th 2021. 

There are no changes to the list of non-EU countries which are exempt from Spain’s non-essential travel rule. People from Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macao, China, the United Kingdom and Japan can continue coming to Spain for non-essential reasons such as holidays.

The difference for vaccinated travellers from countries that are not on the list is that they as “specific people” are now also exempt from the non-essential travel ban, as long as they can prove they’ve been vaccinated.

The Spanish government has published a second state bulletin which lays out the new conditions for travel to Spain regarding vaccination certificates, health passes and more, so stay tuned to The Local Spain as we will cover all this in detail.

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