These little treats from James Martin’s ‘Home Comforts’ make the perfect appetiser. Serve them alongside tasty salted padron peppers at your dinner party or garden party as a sophisticated canapé or walking starter.
When I do get away, which to be fair isn’t very often, one of the places I head to is Spain. I love their attitude towards food. Sure, the Italians are good, but they do like to shout about it, whereas I feel the Spanish just let the ingredients do the talking. One trip to the famous market of La Boqueria in Barcelona is proof of that. It’s the best market I’ve been to, and in it are the best tapas bars. This dish comes from there.
Chicken and Serrano Ham Croquettas with Padron Peppers Recipe
- 75g unsalted butter
- 150g plain flour
- 450ml milk
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 75g jamón Serrano, roughly chopped
- 75g cooked chicken, chopped
- 1 small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 25g flaked toasted almonds
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 75g fresh breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 200g Padrón peppers
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then whisk in 75g of the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk slowly until you have a very thick sauce – almost the consistency of mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper.
- Tip into a bowl and stir in the jamón Serrano, chicken and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the flaked almonds. Place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes until just firm.
- Wet your hands, then take spoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls.
- Place the remaining 75g of flour, the eggs and breadcrumbs in separate bowls, and season with salt and pepper. Roll the balls first in the flour, then in the eggs, then in the breadcrumbs, then place on a work surface and roll gently into cylinder shapes. Set aside while you heat the oil and fry the peppers.
- Heat a deep-fat fryer to 170°C/340°F, or heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep heavy- based frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns brown when dropped into it. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
- While the oil is heating up, heat a frying pan until hot, then add the olive oil, Padrón peppers and half the salt, and fry for 2–3 minutes, until just golden and softened. Tip into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the last of the salt.
- Deep-fry the croquetas in batches for 3–4 minutes, until golden-brown and hot through. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve the croquetas with the Padrón peppers.
More Home Comforts
Published by Quadrille