Cuban Ham Croquettes (Croquetas de Jamon)
This is a staple Cuban recipe that is extremely easy to make and requires simple pantry staple ingredients. Cuban ham croquettes are a crowd-pleaser.
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How to make Cuban style ham croquettes?
I would say the technique for most croquettes is the same. I already published my famous Portuguese cod croquettes, and this recipe has the same base. It differs in the seasoning but the core of any good croquette recipe is the thick “bechamel”.
The mix of butter, milk, and flour is the base of the croquette’s dough. The most common problem is the proportion of the ingredients.
The dough must have enough grease to be elastic and hold the shape. Many beginners add too little butter and the croquettes break during the frying process. Also, too little flour and the dough will be too runny and impossible to shape.
So, here is my proportion for 8 medium size croquettes:
2 tbsp butter
⅓ cup of flour
1 cup of milk.
This is the perfect ratio for any dough croquette.
I also like to add some onion with the butter to add extra flavor to the dough.
Finally, I season with salt and pepper and I add ground ham – you can use a food processor to grind it. You want the ham finely chopped but with enough texture so you can taste the small pieces of ham through the dough.
The secret to getting the right consistency is to let the dough chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. This way the dough will get more solid and thick, which makes the shaping process easier.
After that, it’s time to fry these delicious ham croquettes. With the help of two spoons, I shape the croquettes into oval shapes. You can use your hand but it will be a bit messier.
Then, dip in beaten eggs and cover with breadcrumbs.
Fry using your preferred type of vegetable oil. I like to use canola or sunflower oil because they have no flavor and they don’t release too many fumes when frying.
Can you freeze ham croquettes?
In fact, I’m a huge fan of freezing homemade croquettes. After you cover your croquettes with breadcrumbs, let them chill in the freeze for at least 1 extra hour. Then, you can freeze them using plastic wrap. I like to wrap individual croquettes so I can fry just the right amount when I decide to fry them.
What to serve with these croquetas de jamon?
These croquettes can be served as a main dish or as an appetizer — I make smaller croquettes if they are served as an appetizer.
Usually, I pair them with my famous cilantro garlic sauce. but you can use your favorite dipping sauce with these croquettes.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I see you in the next one!
- 2 cups ham
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ onion thinly diced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Oil to fry
In a pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and stir for a couple of minutes until the onion is slightly transparent.
In a bowl mix the milk with the flour (season with salt and pepper). Whisk until there are no lumps. Slowly, add this mixture into the pot and stir. It will start getting thicker quickly. So, don’t stop stirring and scrape the bottom of the pan to avoid burning the dough. When the dough is hard enough that it no longer sticks to the pot and becomes a big ball of dough, turn the heat off.
In a food processor, ground the ham. Add it into the dough and stir to combine. Let it chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
With the help of two spoons, shape the croquettes. Dip the croquette into the beaten eggs. Then cover with breadcrumbs.
Heat a pan with enough oil to cover the croquettes ( or at least one side completely). Fry the croquettes, until they are brown and crispy outside.