I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. It’s so good to get back to a routine after a whirlwind of driving to Florida to spend Christmas with family and friends. It was a great time. But now back to blogging again.
Croquetas was a Cuban dish I often ate growing up. They can be made for appetizers or along side black beans and rice for dinner. You can make them any size you want and I have seen them in different variations such as meat, like my mom used to make. It does require some fridge time so have to allow plenty of time. This recipe is courtesy of Ana Quincoces Rodriquez, author of Cuban Chicks can Cook. I made my own notations and adjustments.
3 cups of sweet deli ham ( I used regular packaged ham from the store) Pulsed in a food processor
2 cups of whole milk
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
2 cups of ground cracker meal or bread crumbs ( I use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs)
3 eggs beaten
Corn oil for frying
Pulse the ham in the food processor and place in a large bowl. The base to this is in the thickness of the bechamel sauce. In a heavy saucepan bring the milk to a boil. In a separate large saucepan, melt the butter.
Whisk in the flour, salt nutmeg and pepper. I do this gradually. Reduce the heat and continue stirring until the mixture attains a light golden color. While whisking add the milk a little at a time incorporating each time before adding more. Once the milk has been added bring to medium heat to a boil to get ride of all the lumps.
The recipe calls for to add the ham to the bechamel but don’t do that. It is best to add the mixture to the ham instead. And add slowly mix it with a wooden spoon. It should look like a soft dough.
Set aside till room temperature then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Take out and add the parsley and mix well.
In a bowl beat the eggs and in a shallow dish place the breadcrumbs.
Using your hand or a spoon roll into hand making cylinders dip each into egg and then roll into the breadcrumbs. And repeat the process twice with each cylinder. ( I roll them in the breadcrumbs just before frying) Then place in the fridge for 2 hours.
Take them out and let them rest for about an hour before frying. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a large frying pan t 375 degrees or medium high heat. Brown on all sides and place on a dish lined with paper towels.