Basques Croquettes with Bayonne ham

These Basques croquettes are a pure marvel! It’s all about a béchamel sauce that is thick and that we fry at the end You need to leave it in the refrigerator for 4h and thus it’s easier to manipulate it and create the croquettes which are soft inside and crispy on the outside! It’s rather easy to make, you just need to wait for 4h before frying them in order to be able to create the croquettes! It’s good even the day after ;-) Give it a try 

In two words:

“Oh! The beauty of the forest under the lightening”

Auguste De Villiers de l’Isle Adam, Axël Tweet
To Start...

difficulty easy
preparation- 10’ + 4h (resting time in the refrigerator)
cooking - 1’-2’
serves - 11  

Ingredients

for the béchamel sauce

  • 1 + ½ slice of Bayonne dry ham (*)
  • 20gr of sheep cheese
  • 40gr of butter
  • 40gr of flour
  • 175ml of milk
  • 20gr of grated French comté cheese (or gruyere cheese)
  • Espelette pepper (*)
  • 2 pinches of fleur de sel or coarse salt
  • 5 turn mills of Kampot black pepper

for frying

  • 1 egg
  • 35gr of breadcrumbs
  • oil special for frying
  • 2 pinches of fleur de sel  or coarse salt
  • 3 turn mills of Kampot black pepper
  • Espelette pepper (*)

Steps

for the béchamel sauce

  • Slice the ham in small pieces
  • Grate the sheep cheese
  • Melt the butter at low heat
  • Pour the flour at once into the butter
  • Stir well with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth paste
  • Add the milk slowly and by batches, and keep stirring after each addition until you create a very thick béchamel
  • Remove from heat and add salt, pepper and the Espelette pepper
  • Add the grated cheese one at a time, and stir well
  • Let it cool a little bit in room temperature
  • Cover and place it in the refrigerator for 4h

for frying

  • Beat the egg with salt, pepper and Espelette pepper
  • In a shallow bowl add the breadcrumbs
  • Form 10 to 11 small balls
  • Heat up the frying oil until 170°C
  • Place each ball first into the egg, and then into the breadcrumbs to cover them all over
  • Fry for 1’ to 2’ just to give them a golden color
  • Let them rest into paper towel in order to remove the excess of oil
  • Eat them asap!
  • Delicious!

Inspiration

The recipe of the croquettes with Bayonne ham from the Bistrot du Trinquet Maïtena at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, as found in the book Collective, La Cuisine Basque, Hachette Livre, Paris, 2018, p.93.

(*) if you can’t find the Bayonne ham,use some other dry ham, and if you can’t find the Espelette pepper either, try some Cayenne pepper instead, your croquettes will not be Basques but they will be good anyway! 

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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