We cook most evenings and try different dishes when we can. As fans of Moro (here’s our post about their restaurant in London) we often delve into their fabulous first cookbook, published in 2001.
Last night it was the turn of croquetas con jamón and berenjenas con ajo, hierbabuena y chile (aubergine with garlic, mint and chilli). Apart from the jamón (which you could leave out), we pretty much had the other ingredients growing in our huerta. The two vegetable patches have gone crazy with produce and we’ve been busy making sweet chilli jam and chutneys. Before the year is out we’d like to build a house and run for chickens and get two or three.
Croquetas (for two): 400ml milk, 1/2 an onion, a few peppercorns, bayleaf, 100g chopped jamón serrano, 50g butter, 75g plain flour, 150g of fine breadcrumbs, 2 eggs, olive/sunflower oil for frying.
Method: Put the milk into a saucepan and add the onion, peppercorns and bay leaf – simmer for 30 minutes then strain. Return milk to saucepan and add the jamón. In another saucepan add the butter, melt and add the flour, gently cook for a minute or so. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time until the mixture thickens. Add salt if necessary.
Put mixture onto a plate and let cool. Once cold, shape mixture into croquetas and dip each one into a bowl of beaten egg, remove then sprinkle the breadcrumbs, covering each one completely. Put the croquetas in the fridge for at least one hour.
Heat the oil and fry the croquetas until golden brown (not necessary to deep-fry). Remove and place on kitchen paper.
Aubergine with garlic, mint and chilli (for two): 2 medium aubergines, 2 garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 350ml of sunflower oil, 1 large chilli, small bunch of fresh mint, salt, pepper. Dressing: crushed garlic clove with sea salt, 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
Method: cut aubergines into 2cm-thick pieces. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Fry garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Rinse aubergine and pat dry. Heat sunflower oil in a pan until very hot and fry aubergine until brown on both sides. Remove and drain excess oil on kitchen paper.
To make the salad: place a layer of aubergine in a shallow bowl, drip some dressing over, add chilli and mint, repeat one or two more times. Let the dish sit for an hour before serving so the flavours infuse.
© con jamón spain [including photos]