Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Miriam González Durántez’ croquetas


Forthcoming partner at law firm Dechert, wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – and instinctive cook – Miriam González Durántez shares her croquetas recipe with Stylist

“A love of good food is in my blood; everyone in my family cooks. I grew up in the kitchen, watching my aunt getting her hands dirty making hundreds of croquetas and it’s a recipe I’ve passed on to my children. I love it because you can create something totally delicious from leftovers such as chicken or spinach and serve them as a meal or as tapas in the evening. That’s how I eat them in Spain; it’s a very social dish. When I’m at home, I serve them in summer with a glass of cold beer and a big green salad and in winter with a bottle of Spanish red wine.

I’ve made this recipe so many times, I can do it with my eyes shut. It’s a very traditional Spanish dish but every family has their own variation. They are too fiddly to do when I get home from work, so me and the kids [sons Antonio, 9, Alberto, 7, and Miguel, 2] make them on weekends. You have to shape them like meatballs and the children love getting their hands dirty, dipping them in breadcrumbs. They make a terrible mess but it’s worth it!

That’s the kind of cooking I’m used to, slightly chaotic, with no rules, just going on instinct. That’s why when I first met Nigella in May, I’d never really baked properly. I had all her books of course, but when we met by chance at a dinner and talked about the art of baking, she converted me!”




3 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, very finely chopped

100g of plain flour

1 litre milk

300g of ham – such as Spanish jamón serrano or Italian Parma ham – chopped into small cubes. You can replace this with chicken, prawns, spinach or boiled eggs

A pinch of nutmeg

100g grated cheddar cheese

To coat and fry the croquetas:

Plain flour

2 beaten eggs with 1/2 glass of milk

Breadcrumbs, approx 300g

Olive oil


Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the leek, turn down the heat and cook until it turns translucent. Stir in the flour and cook for five minutes, stirring constantly.

Step 2: Meanwhile, warm the milk and add it to the pan. Take the mixture off the heat and blend with a handheld blender.

Step 3: Add the ham and the nutmeg to the pan. Put the mixture back on the heat andkeep stirring it until you have a thick béchamel sauce (another four to five minutes). As you take the pan off the heat, add the cheese. Stir and pour into a shallow dish. Cool for at least an hour or overnight if you prefer.

Step 4: To coat and fry the croquetas put three dishes in a row: one with the flour, another one with beaten egg and milk, and the last one with breadcrumbs. Pick up a spoonful of the mixture (it should not be wet) and with your hands mould it into a cylinder shape. Keep doing this until you’ve used up all of the mixture.

Step 5: Roll the cylinders of croqueta mix into the flour, then into the egg and milk, and finally into the breadcrumbs. Put the croquetas in the fridge for an hour so that they become firm before frying them. They are even better if you freeze them – they last up to three months in the freezer.

Step 6: Fry them in small batches with lots of olive oil in a small deep frying pan until they are golden. Take them out and drain them on kitchen paper (to soak up excess oil) before serving.

Photography: Nato Welton



Nigella's top five entertaining tips


Web chat special: Nigella Lawson


Nigella's editor's letter



How watching TV could make you a better person

"Film narratives, as well as written narratives may facilitate the understanding of others' minds." by Harriet Hall

07 Oct 2015

Whatever you do, don't go out tonight

We dissect a double whammy of must-watch TV

07 Oct 2015

Flight attendant leaves uplifting notes on airplane windows

Random act of kindness to comfort and inspire passengers by Sejal Kapadia

07 Oct 2015

Anxious? Stylist explores the paralysing effects of anxiety

Stylist explores this modern affliction ahead of World Mental Health Day

06 Oct 2015

The five most liked photos on Instagram are all by women

If our Instagram news feed were an art gallery, these would be the showstoppers by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

Grooms share what they're thinking of when their bride walks the aisle

"My god, she's beautiful. Don't cry, don't cry... F***. I'm crying." by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

Disney Princess hot dogs poke fun at re-imagined characters

“It was incredible to imagine these hot dogs doing all of the great passive things that the original princesses did” by Sejal Kapadia

06 Oct 2015

The new cupcake? Three mouthwatering marshmallow recipes

From pistachio praline to spiced gingerbread: by Amy Lewis

06 Oct 2015

What is 'phubbing' and how is it ruining our romantic relationships?

“Cellphone use can undermine the bedrock of our happiness – our relationships with our romantic partners.” by Harriet Hall

06 Oct 2015

The UK’s best new restaurants of October

From meatballs in Covent Garden to a new branch of Dishoom by Victoria Gray

06 Oct 2015