Vegetarian recipe ideas
Get plenty of meat-free inspiration with our easy, versatile recipes
Heat a non-stick pan and fry the ham and bay leaf gently until any fat has melted off the ham, then scoop it out leaving the fat behind.
Add the butter to the pan and, when it has melted, stir in the flour to make a thick paste.
Gradually stir in the milk until you have a smooth sauce.
Add back the bay leaf and ham and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted, then add a good grating of nutmeg and season really well.
Scoop into a tray or dish, cool, then chill completely in the fridge. (This can take 2-3 hours, or you could do it the day before.)
Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the mix and roll each into balls about 3cm across.
Put the beaten egg on one plate and breadcrumbs on another. Roll the balls in the egg then the crumbs. Repeat so you have a double layer of egg and breadcrumbs.
Fill a pan no more than ⅓ full with oil and heat to 180C (or until a cube of bread browns in around 30 seconds), then deep fry the balls in batches for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Scoop out and drain on kitchen paper (you can keep cooked croquetas warm in a very low oven).
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