Saint Valentine…don´t you mean San Jacobo?

14 Feb

I have a work project on at the moment which is keeping me busy, so at home we´ve got a week or so of quicker to cook dishes coming up, or slow cooked dishes that I can put in the oven and then forget about for a few hours.

This speedy light lunch or supper is often served as a “child friendly” dish here in Spain. Sometimes you just don´t fancy “fancy” food. Something simple and speedy, and just a little naughty is required.  Deep fried ham and cheese coated in breadcrumbs hits the spot.  And if you serve it up with a dollop of ketchup and a fried egg with a runny yolk – well I won´t tell anyone that you´re not 9 years old!

Per person you´ll need

  • 2 large slices of your favourite ham
  • Enough thin slices of cheese to almost cover the ham (choose one that melts like cheddar, mozzarella etc)
  • A beaten egg plus 2 tablespoons of milk (this is enough for 4 slices of ham)
  • Dried breadcrumbs to coat the ham
  • Hot oil for frying

Place the cheese on the ham and either roll it up or fold it over to make a “sandwich”. Use a toothpick if necessary to keep your San Jacobo closed, but don´t forget to remove before eating…!

Dip the ham in the egg then the breadcrumbs and then repeat. This will give you a good seal so that the cheese doesn´t ooze out as it melts when it cooks, and a super crispy coating.

Get your oil very hot and fry (you can deep or shallow fry – your decision). Remove when browned and serve immediately.

I tried to find out why these little fried ham parcels are called “Saint Jacobs” but no one seems to know.  At least it makes the meal sound a little more gourmet than it actually is.  Make sure you have a cold beer to hand as a medical aid in case you burn your tongue on that lovely melted cheese.

PS. Happy Valentine´s Day to you all – young. old, single or happily with someone, it´s all about love…so go on, go out today and hug someone!


67 Responses to “Saint Valentine…don´t you mean San Jacobo?”

  1. Calico Stretch February 14, 2012 at 01:10 #

    Oh my. If I were to make this my arteries will not thank me but my taste buds would :o)). Why oh why is it that these two are so often at odds? No, don’t answer that, I’ll ignore the cries from one side or the other at my leisure thanks.

    All I have to do now is convert one of my daughters to the value of cheese and we’ll be having this when I get back from the supermarket…..

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:02 #

      Can´t imagine life without cheese! And I guess you could spray it with a little oil and bake it to make it healthier…it´s not something we eat every day (or even every month), but it was what we needed 🙂

      • Calico Stretch February 15, 2012 at 00:34 #

        Yeah but baking it wouldn’t be as tasty!! Don’t get me wrong this is going to be made at some stage when I decide I have to try it (probably soon)… I too couldn’t live without cheese …. Gorgeous stuff. Oh, except blue.

  2. spree February 14, 2012 at 01:10 #

    Whatever your project, I hope it’s a fun one! Happy Valentines Day, young lovers! Salud! xo

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:02 #

      Thank you from the (not so Young but Young at Heart) lovers…!

  3. ceciliag February 14, 2012 at 01:31 #

    i know this is probably bad but that looks SO GOOD! Nursery food here i come!! c

  4. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide February 14, 2012 at 02:48 #

    I would hug Katherine, but she’s not here. I’m off to hug a dog. Oh and this looks AMAZING with a capital zing.

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:03 #

      A capital zing eh – that´s good! And I think hugging dogs is always a good thing (apart from when they are covered in mud..a bit messy) 🙂

  5. ChgoJohn February 14, 2012 at 03:01 #

    These do look good, Tanya, and a little of what’s bad for us is a good thing. At least that’s what I tell myself whenever I start heating up the oil to deep fry something. Here’s wishing you and “Big Man” a great Valentine’s Day!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:04 #

      Thanks John and wishing you a lovely day too … it´s all a bit silly really isn´t it?! And yes, a little of what is bad for us just every now and then is not such a bad thing 😉

  6. Simply Tia February 14, 2012 at 04:04 #

    *HUGS* to you Tanya! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    These goodies look simple but truly delicious!

  7. bitsandbreadcrumbs February 14, 2012 at 04:12 #

    This looks so comforting and wonderfully delicious! You just can’t beat quick and tasty foods. Happy Valentine’s Day, Tanya!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:05 #

      Thanks Betsy – fast (and slightly naughty food) does the trick sometimes!

  8. Alli February 14, 2012 at 05:11 #

    I just showed hubby that pic and his eyes popped out of his head! You know what will be on our menu soon.

  9. rsmacaalay February 14, 2012 at 07:13 #

    Yum! I have an Asian approach to this one, we use spring roll wrappers instead of breading. I will try your version soon, and I agree its quick and easy

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:09 #

      I can imagine that lovely crunch with the spring roll wrappers – that would be so good!

  10. katyarich February 14, 2012 at 07:59 #

    I love melt cheese, it looks simply and delicious,,,,Happy Valentine’s day to yo to!!!!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:09 #

      Thank you! And yes, there´s something sooo good about melted cheese 🙂

  11. TheDorsetFinca February 14, 2012 at 08:17 #

    My husband would absolutely love these. Maybe I should make him some for a valentines day dinner? (Actually my mouth is now watering quite a lot too… I think I’ll need to have a trial run at lunch first)!! x

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:10 #

      There easy and just a little bit naughty…I´m sure you´d both enjoy them!

  12. Food,Photography & France February 14, 2012 at 08:25 #

    Nice idea for those days when there is no time …..

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:10 #

      Exactly – sometimes bread and cheese just won´t do it when you´re in a rush!

  13. Tandy February 14, 2012 at 08:34 #

    I love it when the egg yolk runs everywhere!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:11 #

      Me too – the white cooked and set and the yolk soft and runny!

  14. TBM February 14, 2012 at 10:34 #

    That looks so good. And I feel better knowing that you make simple meals as well. I don’t feel so guilty 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 10:53 #

      I thought of you as I wrote this one as I remembered you saying something once about not imagining me making simple meals!

      • TBM February 14, 2012 at 11:02 #

        🙂 Now I know I’m wrong…shhhh….don’t tell anyone!

      • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 11:24 #

        Your secret is safe with me!

  15. Malou February 14, 2012 at 10:54 #

    Looks very good, Tanya. To my husband who loves the Dutch “kroket”, this will also become an instant favorite along with his very cold beer. 😉

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 11:24 #

      I imagine it must be quite similar!

      • Malou February 14, 2012 at 11:34 #

        The kroket is ragout that is cooled, rolled alternately in egg and breadcrumbs and deep-fried.

  16. gardenfreshtomatoes February 14, 2012 at 13:02 #

    I’d order this off a menu for lunch! 😀

    • promenadeplantings February 14, 2012 at 14:18 #

      9, 19, 29 49, whatever, bring it on! 🙂 and the crispy coating looks done to perfection !

      • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 15:26 #

        If you´re brave and get that oil really hot, it´s not in there for long (which I guess is a little healthier) and it´s wonderfully crispy….and yes, any age will do!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 15:25 #

      And I´d be happy to be the “short order” cook for you!

  17. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures February 14, 2012 at 15:37 #

    Yuuuum, but I would leave out the jamon!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 15:42 #

      I guess they´re not the best for vegetarians, but you could wrap the cheese in a grilled pepper – that would be good!

  18. thecompletecookbook February 14, 2012 at 15:39 #

    Ooo la la – naughty but oh so nice! Will have to treat Pete to these soon.
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 15:42 #

      It´s good to be naughty and nice sometimes! Lucky Pete 😉

  19. spicegirlfla February 14, 2012 at 17:15 #

    Happy Valentines Day Tanya! What an interesting recipe!! I’ve never seen this before. Its going to be a nice weekend lunch very soon! I know my son will absolutely love this!!

    • Chica Andaluza February 14, 2012 at 17:27 #

      It´s homemade fast food! You have a happy day too 🙂

  20. Charles February 14, 2012 at 23:11 #

    Oh Chica – these look amazing! Totally amazing… they remind me a bit of the french “Cordon Bleu”, but those are usually made with turkey I think, and are usually a rather sorry looking affair compared to these golden, home-made, delicious little packets.

    Cheese and ham is always a sure-fire winner – nice one 😀

    • Chica Andaluza February 15, 2012 at 09:22 #

      Have never had those – I know these are not exactly gourmet (or even Cordon Bleu!) but they are tasty!

  21. niasunset February 14, 2012 at 23:20 #

    WOW! Thank you dear Chica, with my love, nia

  22. Bluejellybeans February 15, 2012 at 00:11 #

    Jeje… Feliz San Jacobo Tanya!!
    Una receta muy rica. Yo siempre los compro hechos, pero creo que ahora los haré 😉

    • Chica Andaluza February 15, 2012 at 09:24 #

      Y yo los compraba antes, pero son tan fáciles a hacer…y también los Flamenquines que creo que voy a hacer esta semana!

  23. kathryningrid February 15, 2012 at 05:41 #

    Don’t you worry, you can go ahead and tell the truth: I *am* a nine-year-old! So many fabulous favorite ingredients in one meal!!!! Out of my way, I’m coming through! 😀

    • Chica Andaluza February 15, 2012 at 09:41 #

      I think lots of us still feel childlike in our hearts, and that´s no bad thing at all!

  24. Purely.. Kay February 16, 2012 at 00:59 #

    I can’t believe I never had deep fried ham and cheese before. Boy does it look so darn good. The shape of it reminds me of mozzarella sticks as well. Wonderful recipe

    • Chica Andaluza February 16, 2012 at 09:08 #

      You´re right – they´re like inside out mozzarella sticks!

  25. Michi February 16, 2012 at 10:14 #

    Basically… croquetas!!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOVE croquetas. My mother-in-law spoils me and makes us all sorts of croquetas to freeze and take home with us. It was also the very first thing she taught me to make after D-Man and I had been dating for only 3 months (the spinach ones con piñones, mmmmm). Oh yours look so deliciously cheesy… no joke, I’m almost crying over here, I want one soo baadly!!

    • Chica Andaluza February 16, 2012 at 10:31 #

      They are almost aren´t they! And you´re lucky your suegra taught you to make croquetas – I had to figure it out myself 😦 I love them too, wish she´d send me over a batch for my freezer 😉

  26. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise February 16, 2012 at 10:15 #

    Sometimes I think little ones have all the fun 🙂
    I hope your project turns out perfectly Tanya

    • Chica Andaluza February 16, 2012 at 10:32 #

      I know what you mean! And thanks for the good wishes, all going well so far.

  27. island traveler February 16, 2012 at 17:22 #

    This delicious food I wish I can nibble right now. My tummy is growling. Such a visual delight as always . Happy Valentine’s Day. Wishing you all the love and joy…

    • Chica Andaluza February 16, 2012 at 20:06 #

      It is definitiely good food to stop a rumbling tummy!

  28. ....RaeDi February 19, 2012 at 10:24 #

    This looks delicious, what are your up to? I am a little (okay a lot) snoopy!

    • Chica Andaluza February 19, 2012 at 12:47 #

      Will let you know, something that´s keeping me busy!

  29. PendleStitches February 19, 2012 at 14:38 #

    Melty cheese with ham! What’s not to love. Mmmmmmmmmm!

    • Chica Andaluza February 19, 2012 at 20:26 #


      • PendleStitches February 21, 2012 at 17:07 #


  30. waterfallsandcaribous February 21, 2012 at 01:59 #

    YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!!!!

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