28th Feb 2024 @ 3:00 pm

Croquetas are a Spanish obsession, and rightly so – the country seems to have perfected a recipe that was originally intended to use up leftovers. Here’s our recipe on how to make them.

If you ever want to distract a Spaniard, simply place a dish of hot croquetas in front of them. You will then have several minutes to yourself while they tuck in, completely oblivious to anything else in the world apart from hot, delectable, deep-fried savoury goodness.



• 100 g of chopped jamón serrano, chorizo, cooked cod, prawns, shredded chicken, tuna, fried mushrooms or grated cheese. Croquetas are endlessly adaptable.

• 2 tbspns olive oil

• 60g unsalted butter

• Half a small leek, chopped finely

• 60g plain flour

• 2 eggs

• 75 g dried breadcrumbs

• 500 ml milk

• One bay leaf

• One clove

• Half small onion

• Plenty of oil for deep-frying (olive oil is ideal but horrifically expensive right now -a neutral sunflower will be fine.)


1. Bring milk to simmer (but not boil) in a pan with the bay leaf, clove, and whole onion. Leave until lukewarm and remove flavourings.

2. Fry the chopped leek in olive oil and butter until soft. Add the filling (unless it’s cheese, which should be added later).

3. Stir in the flour until even, then add milk a little at a time, stirring briskly with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth bechamel. Cook for 15 minutes until it’s the texture of gloopy mash potato. Add cheese if using.

4. Now put the bechamel in a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge.

5. When chilled, take two bowls, Crack eggs into one and beat, and fill the other with the breadcrumbs.

6. Use a dessert spoon to take the stiff béchamel out, and form cylinders with floured hands. They should be about the length of your thumb and a little thicker. Place on greaseproof paper.

7. Dip each croqueta in egg, then cover in breadcrumbs.

8. Fill a deep pan to a third with oil and heat to 180 degrees C. (or until a breadcrumb sizzles). Fry croquetas until golden, drain on kitchen paper and serve, sprinkled with salt. You can accompany the croquetas with dips such as alioli or mojo, but they don’t need anything else.

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