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. atlanta IM firm posted 02/04/2013

    Superb website…

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

  2. cheap webhosting posted 02/04/2013

    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[…]……

  3. Bridesmaids Dresses 2013 posted 02/04/2013

    Test in 2013…

    I know it’s going to be difficult for traditional motorcyclists – especially young, traditional motorcyclists….

  4. estate agents in hackney posted 02/04/2013

    Online Article……

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

  5. Testbericht 2013…

    Despite having three decades of product innovation under their belts, the designers at Burton are still coming up with big ideas…

  6. oez seo posted 02/04/2013

    Sources…

    Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitor…

  7. Neil Harriman posted 02/04/2013

    great bypass…

    We’re significantly in volunteers together with opening an innovative method both women and men city. Ones page provided nation via worthwhile info that will help work utilizing. You’ve completed the strong job together with much when while utilizing…

  8. Herman Cole posted 02/04/2013

    Sites we Like……

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

  9. free xxx site posted 02/04/2013

    Websites you should visit…

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

  10. Clinton Welles posted 02/04/2013

    Bored at work…

    I like to surf in various places on the online world, often I will just go to Digg and follow thru…

  11. erotic massage london posted 02/04/2013

    Title…

    […]please pay a visit to the internet sites we stick to, like this a single, because it represents our picks through the web[…]…

  12. Susan Lim Surgeon posted 02/05/2013

    Websites you should visit…

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

  13. Wilfred Perez posted 02/05/2013

    Superb website…

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

  14. Large file transfer posted 02/05/2013

    Wikia…

    Wika linked to this site…

  15. iklan gratis posted 02/05/2013

    Superb website…

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

  16. Yvonne Ramsey posted 02/05/2013

    Title…

    […]the time to study or pay a visit to the material or websites we’ve linked to beneath the[…]…

  17. Best SEO Company posted 02/05/2013

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  18. Global Commission app posted 02/06/2013

    Online Article……

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

  19. Click That Link posted 02/06/2013

    click here…

    There…

  20. we buy foreclosure homes posted 02/06/2013

    Great website…

    […]we like to honor many other websites, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some of them worthed to try[…]……

  21. samui villa posted 02/06/2013

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG today I found this…

  22. cell phone plans posted 02/06/2013

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  23. salsa posted 02/06/2013

    Title…

    […]just beneath, are many completely not related web sites to ours, having said that, they may be surely worth going over[…]…

  24. Easy Weight Loss posted 02/06/2013

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG yesterday I noticed this…

  25. d x touch luxury handbags posted 02/07/2013

    Title…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless seriously worth taking a look, whoa did one master about Mid East has got more problerms too […]…

  26. tantric massage london posted 02/07/2013

    Title…

    […]just beneath, are several absolutely not related sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re surely worth going over[…]…

  27. how to earn money fast online posted 02/07/2013

    Title…

    […]that may be the end of this report. Right here you will discover some websites that we believe you’ll value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]…

  28. coupons for chilis posted 02/07/2013

    Title…

    […]please visit the web sites we stick to, like this a single, because it represents our picks from the web[…]…

  29. Ross Carrell posted 02/07/2013

    outstanding write-up…

    Thanks in relation to helping out due to that particular there, great information. “Riches look after various factors. ” because of Menander….

  30. tim kerfin posted 02/08/2013

    Gems form the internet…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]……

  31. commercial beekeeping supplies posted 02/08/2013

    Superb website…

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

  32. inspiration jewelry posted 02/08/2013

    Superb website…

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

  33. HERBAL INCENSE BLENDS posted 02/08/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  34. Flyer Printing posted 02/08/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

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

  35. coupe $28 posted 02/08/2013

    You should check this out…

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]……

  36. Recent Blogroll Additions……

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

  37. Title…

    […]Every the moment inside a whilst we pick out blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the most up-to-date web sites that we choose […]…

  38. best medical alert system posted 02/09/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  39. pagini web posted 02/09/2013

    Title…

    […]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are truly worth a go by way of, so possess a look[…]…

  40. refill powder posted 02/09/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  41. caveman diet posted 02/09/2013

    Title…

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

  42. kidney stones diet posted 02/09/2013

    So cool…

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

  43. during posted 02/09/2013

    Links…

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

  44. vital sleep posted 02/09/2013

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG today I found this…

  45. Coquitlam BC used trucks posted 02/10/2013

    Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  46. cash for diamonds posted 02/10/2013

    Informative and precise…

    Its difficult to find informative and accurate information but here I noted…

  47. Buy Provillus posted 02/10/2013

    Title…

    […]one of our guests lately recommended the following website[…]…

  48. Green Coffee Bean Max posted 02/10/2013

    Title…

    […]that would be the finish of this article. Here you will come across some web sites that we think you will value, just click the hyperlinks over[…]…

  49. painting contractors san diego posted 02/10/2013

    Digg…

    While checking out DIGG yesterday I found this…

  50. Useful reference posted 02/10/2013

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c