Spanish Tapas

For my game night this month, I decided to also consider it my Spanish Tapas Party. Let me preface this blog by saying that tapas are HARD WORK. I made 2 different types of tapas. The croquettes are thanks to Everyday w/ Rachael Ray magazine. The potato recipe is courtesy of Spain Recipes website. They are, in theory, not difficult, however, making 2 different kinds of fried foods at the same time is serious kitchen chaos. Each require prep, each need to be watched on the stove, and each have post-fried directions. Despite what I thought was almost a ruined effort, everything got gobbled up [but clean up was horrendous].

Serrano Ham and Chicken Croquettes
-2tbsp. butter
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1cu warm milk
-1/4tsp. chopped fresh thyme
-pinch nutmeg
-1 1/4 cups chopped cooked chicken
-1/2cu chopped serrano ham [not found in most American grocery stores…I think you can find it at specialty stores or Hispanic stores…I just used regular ham and tossed with spices]
-salt and pepper
-4cu crushed cornflakes
-3 large eggs
-1-2cu vegetable oil

-Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan, then whisk in 6tbsp. flour and whisk for one minute. Gradually add in the milk, lower the heat, and continue to whisk until sauce thickens. Stir in thyme and nutmeg, then add the chicken and ham; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until firm, at least overnight [this is where I had issues–it was still the same amount of soupiness each time I made this, the first time for 24hrs, the second time for 8hrs, but I just made do].
-Pour remaining flour and cornflakes into separate shallow bowls. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Shape heaping tablespoons of the refrigerated mixture, dip first into flour, then eggs, then cornflakes.
-In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add croquettes and fry until golden brown, 2-3min. on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Enjoy!

Patatas Bravas
-3tbsp. olive oil
-4 large Russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1in. cubes
-2tbsp. minced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
-salt and pepper
-1 1/2 tbsp. Spanish paprika
-1/4tsp. tabasco sauce
-1/4tsp. ground thyme
-1/2cu ketchup
-1/2cu mayo
-chopped parsley, to garnish
-1cu olive oil [for frying]

-To make the brava sauce, heat 3tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and garlic; saute until onion is soft. Turn off the heat, add paprika, tabasco, and thyme, stirring well. Transfer to a bowl and add the ketchup and mayo. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
-Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt and pepper and then fry them in a large skillet with olive oil until cooked through and golden brown. Drain the potatoes on paper towels, add a bit of salt.
-Toss the potatoes with the sauce and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped parsley.


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