Watch Cooking Channel

How to Make Croquetas

Croquetas Recipe

No visit to a Cuban bakery is complete without sampling the croquetas – freshly made and sprinkled with lime juice if possible. A deep fried blend of béchamel sauce and ham, chicken or salt cod, these savory treats hold their own among the teeming trays of glazed guava pastries, sugary cakes, and airy meringues that fill the glass cases. Tucked into a pressed Cubano for lunch, the added crunch transforms the classic sandwich into an unforgettable croqueta preparada.

Made at home, all kinds of leftovers and stewed dishes can be added to the blank-slate of white sauce before it’s scooped, rolled and breaded. A little cumbersome at first, they can be prepped well ahead of time then fried just before serving. There are no limits to what goes into a good croqueta but here are a few guidelines to get started.

Choose your filling. Croquetas can be made with cooked ham, roast pork, beef, chicken, fish or vegetables that have been shredded or processed to form a smooth paste. Additional fillings include: cheese, hard boiled eggs, rice, sautéed onions or mushrooms.

To make the sauce, melt the butter, oil or combination of both, in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook until golden but not browned, about 2-3 minutes.

Heat the milk to a gentle simmer but do not let it boil. Gradually stir the hot milk into the cooked flour, whisking constantly until smooth. Continue to stir until the sauce has thickened and the whisk leaves trace marks on the surface, about 5 minutes. The consistency is a matter of preference. A looser sauce will have a creamier texture, but will take longer to set. For a heavier blend, cook until the sauce pulls away from the sides of the pot before adding the desired fillings.

Season the béchamel sauce with salt, pepper, nutmeg, pimentón or cayenne pepper. Remove from the heat and add the filling, mixing until well combined. Bring to room temperature. Pour the mixture in a shallow bowl or lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least one hour.

Lay out flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs (or cracker meal) in separate mixing bowls. Scoop out one heaping tablespoon of the béchamel mixture and roll in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess flour. Roll into the desired shape then dip into the egg mixture with a fork or slotted spoon, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in the bread crumbs until well coated.

The croquetas should be completely coated so the filling doesn’t leak when cooked. If needed, dip in the egg followed by the bread crumbs a second time. Transfer to a lined tray or baking dish, and refrigerate until ready to use. At this point they can be frozen and saved for later use.

Add about 3″ of oil to a large, deep pot. Over medium-high heat, bring the oil to 365°F. Working in batches so that they are not crowded, carefully add the croquetas. Gently turn until brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Bring the oil back up to the correct temperature in between batches.

Carefully remove the croquetas with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towels or paper bags to absorb the excess oil.

Serve immediately as an appetizer with dipping sauce or light lunch with sharp mustard, pickles and crackers.

Recipe: Croquetas de Jamón y Queso

Makes 20 to 24 croquetas
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Ease of preparation: easy

Ingredients

8 ounces smoked ham, excess fat or rind trimmed, cubed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of pimenton (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs (or cracker meal), finely ground
Sunflower oil, for deep frying

Combine ham and mustard in a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour and cook, stirring constantly until well blended but not browned, about 2 minutes. In the meantime, gently heat the milk to a gentle simmer but do not let it boil. Gradually stir the milk in to the saucepan, whisking constantly to eliminate clumps. Stir until the sauce has thickened and the whisk leaves trace marks in the surface, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and pimenton. Remove from heat. Add the pureed ham and mix until well combined.

Bring to room temperature. Pour the mixture in a shallow bowl or lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.

Lay out the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs in separate mixing bowls. Scoop out 1 heaping tablespoon of the bechamel mixture and roll each croqueta in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess flour. Dip into the egg mixture with a fork or slotted spoon, allowing excess to drip off, and then roll in breadcrumbs. They should be well coated so the filling doesn’t leak when cooked.

Add about 3-inches of oil to a large, deep pot. Heat over medium-high heat to 365 degrees F. Working in batches, carefully add the croquetas a few at a time. Do not crowd them or the temperature of the oil will drop. Gently turn until brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or re-purposed grocery paper bags. Bring the oil back up to the correct temperature in between batches. Serve immediately.

Ana Sofia Peláez covers the spectrum of Spanish and Latin American cuisine on her blog hungrysofia.com. From the rich smells and flavors of the Cuban food she grew up with to modern Peruvian causas, hearty Brazilian feijodas and delicate Mexican flor de calabaza soup, she’s always looking for her next great meal.

Comments (3530)

  1. שף posted 01/13/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  2. Stock Options onetwotrade posted 01/13/2013

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  3. roswell towing posted 01/13/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

  4. Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  5. fat burning foods posted 01/13/2013

    Title…

    [...]just beneath, are many entirely not connected web pages to ours, on the other hand, they’re surely really worth going over[...]…

  6. adelgazar posted 01/13/2013

    crash diets…

    very couple of web-sites that come about to be in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely worth checking out…

  7. get rid of acne posted 01/13/2013

    Title…

    [...]The data mentioned in the write-up are some of the most beneficial readily available [...]…

  8. lose belly fat for men posted 01/13/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or check out the content material or web sites we’ve linked to beneath the[...]…

  9. get rid of acne posted 01/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]we prefer to honor a lot of other web web-sites around the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[...]…

  10. Instant Traffic Systems posted 01/14/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  11. tarot posted 01/14/2013

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  12. get rid of stomach fat posted 01/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  13. tredent posted 01/14/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  14. sell guns online posted 01/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]here are some links to web pages that we link to due to the fact we feel they’re worth visiting[...]…

  15. cheap desktop computer posted 01/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]that is the finish of this article. Right here you will obtain some websites that we assume you’ll value, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  16. buy real twitter followers posted 01/14/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  17. Nathaniel Mcminn posted 01/14/2013

    fantastic handle…

    Fantastic provide great results! The unique information that really must be common for the net. Humiliation regarding engines for instance google regarding never really keeping this unique set up-wards severe! Contemplate this finished along with explo…

  18. Title…

    [...]here are some links to internet sites that we link to because we feel they are really worth visiting[...]…

  19. sports gambling posted 01/15/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  20. cirugia estetica posted 01/15/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  21. emotional intelligence posted 01/15/2013

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  22. Fashion Shows posted 01/15/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  23. emotional intelligence posted 01/15/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  24. emotional intelligence posted 01/15/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  25. Raymond Netti posted 01/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but don’t get a whole lot of link really like from[...]…

  26. craigslist clone posted 01/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]The facts mentioned in the write-up are a few of the very best obtainable [...]…

  27. commentbandit posted 01/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]that could be the end of this report. Right here you’ll obtain some websites that we feel you will enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  28. Rolling Papers posted 01/16/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  29. seo posted 01/16/2013

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  30. party decorations posted 01/16/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  31. CNA Training posted 01/16/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  32. ip lookup posted 01/16/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  33. lidafarmedli lida posted 01/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some entirely unrelated web-sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  34. Dirndl posted 01/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every as soon as inside a though we choose blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date websites that we pick [...]…

  35. Cash Flow posted 01/17/2013

    Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  36. Maximize your Profits posted 01/17/2013

    Blogs you should be reading…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  37. VintageDigitalWatches.com posted 01/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some web sites that we consider you must visit[...]…

  38. Car Rental Deals posted 01/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]check beneath, are some entirely unrelated websites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  39. how to reduce stomach fat posted 01/17/2013

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  40. Wifi Enabled Thermostat posted 01/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]just beneath, are several totally not related sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be certainly really worth going over[...]…

  41. trade show exhibits posted 01/17/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  42. local plumber posted 01/18/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every the moment inside a whilst we choose blogs that we study. Listed below are the most recent web sites that we pick out [...]…

  43. options trading education posted 01/18/2013

    Title…

    [...]we prefer to honor quite a few other world wide web sites on the web, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]…

  44. handicap vans posted 01/18/2013

    Title…

    [...]very few web sites that happen to become detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[...]…

  45. Neil Harriman posted 01/18/2013

    amazing discharge…

    Thanks prepared with regard to posting wonderful information. Ones website is basically consequently magnificent. Personally there’s undoubtedly that astounded within the information the truth you’ve with this subject website web website. It the most…

  46. flat stomach diet posted 01/18/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  47. flash mario posted 01/18/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  48. property delhi posted 01/18/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  49. best cardio to burn fat posted 01/18/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  50. NY orthodontist posted 01/18/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c