- These crispy Ham Croquettes are little logs of seasoned minced ham. They are Cuba’s national appetizers but their exquisite flavors are sure to please everyone! Croquettes are easy to prepare, but shaping them does require some time. Fortunately, they can be shaped a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated before frying. For the best flavor, use a good-quality smoked or baked ham and ask your butcher to grind it for you.
- ●4 tablespoons butter or margarine
- ●1/2 small onion, chopped
- ●1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- ●2/3 cup (5 fluid-ounce can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- ●12 ounces smoked or baked ham, ground (2 cups)
- ●1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- ●1 tablespoon dry sherry
- ●1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ●1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ●3 large eggs, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- ●1 1/2 cups fine plain bread crumbs
- ●3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ●Vegetable oil for deep frying
- ●1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook until soft. Add 1/4 cup flour and mix with wire whisk. Gradually add evaporated milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes just to a boil and is thick and creamy. Add ham, parsley, sherry, black pepper and nutmeg; mix well. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low heat. Taste; season with additional salt if desired.
Pour ham mixture into 8-inch-square baking pan. Cool in refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes so that it will be easy to handle.
Beat eggs with water in a small mixing bowl until frothy. Combine bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons flour and place in a second bowl or plate. Scoop out a heaping teaspoon of ham mixture from chilled pan, or divide mixture in pan by cutting it into thirds crosswise and in eights lengthwise. Shape into logs 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4-inch wide. Dip croquettes into eggs and roll in crumb mixture until evenly coated. Place croquettes on large jelly roll pan or baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350° F. Fry croquettes for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Place on serving platter. Squeeze lime wedges over croquettes and serve with extra wedges. Serve hot.