This post is for Gledwood: What is a Ham Croquette?
I know you like to eat, you're always writing about food. So I figured I'd give you my croquette recipe to try if you would like. It's a rather inexpensive, yet tasty meal. I think you can make a croquette out of just about anything. The properties must include something mushy in the middle, covered with, like you said, a crunchy outside. In my version I grind up previously cooked ham, leftovers are great for this, and mix it with a basic white sauce to hold it together. White sauce is my new favorite thing. So simple, yet so yummy! Start with 2T butter, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Keep in mind you can double or quadruple the recipe per your white sauce needs. After the butter is melted, the 2T of flour is added to the butter very slowly, mixing it all the while. Keep the flour/butter mixture over med-low heat, continue to stir until it starts to thicken and turn sort of golden, not brown and not too thick, maybe five minutes. Then, once your butter and flour mixture is ready, you want to slowly add one cup of milk. Add some milk, stir vigorously until well blended and smooth, then add a bit more and repeat. You want to use a whisk or something so that your sauce doesn't get lumpy. Smooth, smooth, smooth is what you want. So, it will seem considerably more thin once the milk has been fully added. That's okay, it will thicken a good deal as it cooks. Just keep the heat med-low, and stir consistently, don't let it sit too long ever or it will lump on the bottom of pot. Once it begins to thicken, I like to add a smidge of nutmeg. Now you have a basic white sauce.
I always use as much ham as I need for however many people are eating. So obviously that can differ a great deal depending on the situation. So this is where you just have to use good judgment. It's sort of like adding mayonnaise to tuna or egg salad, there's a fine line between just right or too much. You want to start slowly, add just a bit of your white sauce to your ham, mix it up and test it to see how well it holds together. You want to add some moisture, but the main goal is to have your ham be able to hold together when you mold it into little elongated, round patties. You'll want to have all your ingredients together before you get started. This includes two bowls, one for an egg/milk mixture, and another for bread crumbs. I like to use Panko bread crumbs. They're these Asian bread crumbs that are hip right now, they're definitely better than your average bread crumbs. So I usually do one at a time. Mold your ham ball, dip in egg, dip in bread crumb. I like to repeat the procedure so each croquette gets double dipped. They get a crunchier crust that way, I think. Although it's probably more calories that way. Then once you've got all your croquettes dipped and breaded, they should be stacked on a plate. You'll want to let them chill in your fridge so they firm up. Give them about half an hour. They'll be easier to fry and they won't, shouldn't anyhow, fall apart that way. After chilling, take out your croquettes and fry them until golden brown and crispy. I use a couple inches of canola oil in a cast iron frying pan.Make sure your oil is really hot before you begin frying. And they are so delicious. After I use whatever white sauce I need for adding to the ham in the beginning, I like to have some leftover to top my croquettes with. I like to add fresh peas to the sauce and let them cook in the sauce until the croquettes are ready. This is a very tasty topping. I hope you try them, everyone!