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. bee hive removal contract posted 03/29/2013

    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[…]……

  2. dr oz garcinia cambogia posted 03/29/2013

    Title…

    […]The details mentioned within the post are several of the most beneficial readily available […]…

  3. Cash Advance Loans posted 03/29/2013

    Gems form the internet…

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

  4. buy dianabol posted 03/29/2013

    buy dianabol…

    […]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get a lot of link really like from[…]…

  5. quality backlinks posted 03/30/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  6. Click here posted 03/30/2013

    Click here…

    Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol…

  7. Travelgenio Costumer Service posted 03/30/2013

    Sources…

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

  8. hair removal prices posted 03/30/2013

    hair removal prices…

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do y…

  9. Garcinia Cambogia posted 03/30/2013

    Title…

    […]usually posts some really intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[…]…

  10. Dr OZ Raspberry ketone posted 03/30/2013

    Title…

    […]we prefer to honor a lot of other online web-sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages worth checking out[…]…

  11. track email deliverability posted 03/30/2013

    Looking around…

    While I was surfing today I saw a excellent post concerning…

  12. Towanda Imming posted 03/31/2013

    Awesome webpages…

    we came throughout a fantastic blog you could possibly take pleasure in. Just take a glance in order for you…

  13. Hausratversicherungtestvergleich.com…

    […]check below, are some absolutely unrelated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  14. Green Coffee Bean Max posted 03/31/2013

    Title…

    […]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go by, so possess a look[…]…

  15. Empower Network posted 03/31/2013

    Empower Network…

    Thanks for your article. One other thing is the fact individual states in the United states of america have their very own laws in which affect property owners, which makes it very difficult for the the legislature to come up with the latest set of gui…

  16. Clair Cahalane posted 03/31/2013

    Spectacular web page…

    The specifics talked about within the put up certainly are a number of of your extremely ideal readily available…

  17. Charleston Vaccines posted 03/31/2013

    Cool sites…

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

  18. Haywood Marvray posted 03/31/2013

    Gems within the net…

    quite very few sites that transpire to get detailed below, from our point of view are definitely nicely well worth looking at…

  19. tas super posted 03/31/2013

    Title…

    […]Here is a great Blog You may Find Fascinating that we Encourage You[…]…

  20. Della Haverty posted 03/31/2013

    Weblogs ou should really be looking at…

    Below is a Terrific Blog site You might Uncover Exciting that we Motivate You…

  21. Wilburn Sisti posted 03/31/2013

    Awesome internet websites…

    we arrived throughout a wonderful web site that you simply would possibly take pleasure in. Get a look if you need…

  22. Remodeling Tulsa OK posted 03/31/2013

    Awesome website…

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

  23. garcinia cambogia reviews posted 03/31/2013

    Online Article……

    […]The info mentioned in the article are useful […]……

  24. buy instagram followers posted 03/31/2013

    Cool sites…

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

  25. health convention posted 04/01/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  26. Geschenkhelfer.net posted 04/01/2013

    Geschenkhelfer.net…

    […]just beneath, are many completely not connected websites to ours, even so, they’re certainly worth going over[…]…

  27. wigs for stage posted 04/01/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    […]below you will see the link to some sites that we think you could see[…]……

  28. Glow in the dark makeup posted 04/01/2013

    Cool sites…

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

  29. shakleescam posted 04/01/2013

    Title…

    […]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I adore but really don’t get a great deal of link really like from[…]…

  30. villaförsäkringen posted 04/01/2013

    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 […]……

  31. Title…

    […]just beneath, are quite a few totally not connected web-sites to ours, even so, they may be surely worth going over[…]…

  32. SizeGenetics Device posted 04/01/2013

    Title…

    […]we came across a cool web page that you simply may possibly enjoy. Take a appear if you want[…]…

  33. Warner Kwang posted 04/01/2013

    Go through was captivating, stay in touch…

    make sure you head to the websites we abide by, such as this a single, while it signifies our picks through the web…

  34. uohgc970yhYf89ye3 posted 04/02/2013

    Excellent website…

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

  35. the man said. posted 04/02/2013

    Websites you should visit…

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

  36. realtor sell your home posted 04/02/2013

    realtor sell your home…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to internet sites that we link to mainly because we feel they may be worth visiting[…]…

  37. sorority porn posted 04/02/2013

    Title…

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

  38. Virility Ex posted 04/02/2013

    Title…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to mainly because we think they are worth visiting[…]…

  39. San Diego Residential Electrician…

  40. buy cheap youtube views posted 04/02/2013

    Awesome website…

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

  41. Untung Rugi Franchise posted 04/02/2013

    Blogs ou should be reading…

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

  42. kindle fire hd deals posted 04/02/2013

    kindle fire hd deals…

    Today, considering the fast way of life that everyone leads, credit cards have a huge demand in the economy. Persons out of every area are using the credit card and people who are not using the credit cards have arranged to apply for even one. Thanks f…

  43. unemployment office in arizona posted 04/02/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

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

  44. Shanna Schomacker posted 04/02/2013

    Read through was attention-grabbing, keep in contact…

    make sure you see the sites we adopt, including this just one, due to the fact it represents our picks from your online…

  45. Hawaii Breast Implants posted 04/03/2013

    Hawaii Breast Implants…

    […]Every when in a even though we opt for blogs that we read. Listed below are the most up-to-date web pages that we choose […]…

  46. Oakley Sunglasses Outlet posted 04/03/2013

    Title…

    […]The facts mentioned in the article are some of the very best offered […]…

  47. Londa Padiong posted 04/03/2013

    Gems within the world-wide-web…

    rather very few internet websites that materialize to become detailed down below, from our point of view are certainly very well definitely worth looking at…

  48. Instagram followers posted 04/03/2013

    Title…

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]…

  49. 2013 low cost business ideas posted 04/03/2013

    Title…

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

  50. seo manchester posted 04/03/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

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

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c