Serrano ham and chicken croquettes with classic Spanish mixed salad

Prepare the mixture in advance, then just a few minutes frying is all it takes for a delicious light meal of hot crisp croquettes served with sharp, crunchy tuna salad.

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For the croquettes

  • 90g/3½oz butter
  • 50g/2oz thinly sliced Spanish air-dried ham, roughly chopped
  • 110g/4oz flour, plus 75g/3oz extra for coating
  • 500ml/18floz full-fat milk
  • 75g/3oz cooked chicken breast meat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 free-range egg, hard-boiled, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 200g/7oz fresh white breadcrumbs, made from crustless day-old bread left out overnight
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the salad

  • 1 head of crunchy lettuce, such as Little Gem, romaine or continental
  • 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into wedges or sliced
  • 4 spring onions or salad onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 8 spears canned or jarred asparagus, drained
  • 1 x 200g/7oz can or jar of tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 free-range eggs, hard-boiled, quartered
  • 16 green olives