Cured Ham, Spinach and Parmesan Croquettes

Friday, 31 January 2014

Last week I wrote about happiness. This week is the turn to love.

 Valentines is around the corner and everyone seems to be a little bit more happy. Or maybe it is because January is almost over, and let’s be honest, it is not the best of months. And yes, I agree. Valentines was invented by the big brands just to give us another excuse to spend our money. It is such a post-Christmas overspending withdrawal syndrome.  But leaving the consumerism aside, Valentines give us the chance to give and receive love.

I need to say I have never ever bought anything for Valentines. However, I love to cut tiny little hearts, write notes full of love and leave them in unexpected places, cook special food as the always appreciated heart-shaped sandwich or just stay late in bed having nonsense conversations.

The word love has never-ending meanings. For me love means being always there, no matter what happens. I reckon I’m really lucky, as I believe there are a lot of people who love me despite the circumstances, the distance or the time we know each other. People love me in many different ways, which means I receive all sorts of love; enough to keep my heart warm throughout the year.

Sometimes it takes too long to feel true love or to realize who is loving us with generosity, honesty and deeply. Someone keen on walking with us all the way. And as Valentines is there and this year (again) I’m not going to buy anything, I’ll take this opportunity to give thanks to the one who has been loving me unconditionally for the last 13 years: my husband, my partner, my friend, my life, my all.

 This week recipe is truly a proof of love. Croquettes are a laborious and time consuming dish but delicious and handy once they’re prepared (and you can do them using almost any left over!) - and are one of my family favourites. The reason why I’m cooking them this week is because I love them.

"The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."

 Happy Valentines everyone.


3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
100 gr Plain Flour
150 ml Milk
200 gr Cured Ham Trimmings
150 gr Fresh Spinach
100 gr Parmesan Cheese
2 eggs
100 gr fine dried bread crumbs (I make them grinding a dried piece of bread)
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste


Stir fry the ham and the spinach in a saucepan until soft.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the flour when warm. Beat using a wooden spoon and mix well. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Continue stirring until the flour is well blended.

Start adding the milk bit by bit. Wait until the milk is completely integrated before adding the next bit. 

Decrease the heat and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly with the spoon, until the mixture begins to thicken.

Add the ham, spinach and cheese and mix well together. Pour the mixture into a deep bowl and let cold down completely. Cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge to allow the mixture to set.

Place eggs in a bowl and crumbs on a plate. With the help of two spoons, shape a tablespoonfuls of mixture into logs. Dip in egg and then roll each one in the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess. Tip: you can give a final shape with your hands to make the croquettes more compact.

Lay the croquettes in a single layer  and refrigerate for 30 minutes before frying. Tip: croquettes can also be frozen and cooked from frozen in minutes.

Pour enough olive oil to half cover the croquettes in a deep saucepan and heat over high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, slip the croquettes into the oil leaving some space between them. Turn them gently until they are golden on all sides. 

Transfer the croquettes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. 

Serve warm and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I love you above everything, and it's really a pleasure, and an amazing adventure to be with you, at your side, every day. I always bought something for Valentines, since 12 years ago, for my girl friend... and I love croquettes. :)


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