Ham Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamón)

Raven Higheagle

By
@ravenhigheagle

This a very simple fritter that can be embellished and seasoned in a million different ways. Quickly blended with béchamel sauce, croquetas are a fast solution for leftover ham, chicken or seafood. Serve with a short stack of saltines and lime wedges for the complete Cuban bakery experience.

Rating:
☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes
Comments:
Serves:
Makes 24
Prep:
1 Hr 30 Min
Cook:
20 Min
Method:
Pan Fry

Ingredients

8 oz
cooking ham, cubed
1 Tbsp
dijon mustard
3 Tbsp
unsalted butter
1/4 c
unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 c
whole milk
2 large
eggs, well beaten at room temperature
1 c
dried bread crumbs (panko is best)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pinch
freshly ground nutmeg
canola oil for deep frying

Step-By-Step

1Combine ham and mustard in a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.
2Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until well blended but not browned, about 2 minutes.
3In the meantime, gently heat the milk to a gentle simmer but do not let it boil.
4Gradually stir in the milk, whisking constantly until the sauce has thickened and is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat.
5Add the pureed ham and mix until well combined. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
6Pour the mixture onto the lined baking sheet using a rubber spatula to spread evenly.
7Bring to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least one hour.
8Lay out 1/2 cup of flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs in separate mixing bowls.
9Dust hands with flour and spoon the béchamel mixture into walnut sized pieces and roll into desired shape, about one tablespoon per croqueta.
10One by one, roll the croquetas in flour, drop into the egg mixture with a fork or slotted spoon, then transfer to bread crumbs.
11They should be completely coated in bread crumbs so they don’t leak when cooked.
12Add about 3″ of oil to a large heavy skillet. Heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees.
13Working in batches, carefully add the croquetas.
14Gently turn until brown on all sides, about 2 minutes.
15Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or re-purposed grocery paper bags. Serve immediately.