You want to make something utterly delicious and relatively quick? Ham croquettes are irresistible. I used the end of a piece of culatello I bought in Bologna months ago, chopped into tiny dice. You could use a few slices of Prosciutto chopped finely or a few slices from a roasted ham hock, shedded finely. Make them small and they are ideal finger food; a bit bigger and they can be served with a salad and maybe some garlic mayonnaise. Don’t add salt to the mixture – there’s plenty in the ham. If you don’t have suitable bread to make breadcrumbs, take some cheese biscuits (Jacobs or Doriani are perfect) and bash them to smithereens.
Ingredients (enough for 20 pieces as finger food)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, squashed and chopped
50g plain flour
pinch of nutmeg
sunflower oil for deep frying
1. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until it is soft and beginning to brown.
2. Melt the butter in the same pan and stir in the flour.
3. Heat the milk and add to the flour mixture, stirring it in to create a smooth sauce which you should cook bubbling gently for two or three minutes. Add and integrate the ham, parsley, black pepper and parmesan. Leave it to cool for an hour or so until set firm.
4. Using a tablespoon, scoop up the cold mixture and roll into balls and then into fat cigar shapes. Dip each one in the beaten egg, then in the breadcrumbs and deep fry in the hot oil for about four minutes until brown and crisp on all sides.
5. Lip out with a straining spoon and place on kitchen roll to absorb surplus oil. Serve straight away.