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Croquetas De Jamon

Squeeze a little lime over these deep-fried Cuban hors d'oeuvres.

  • Yield: Makes 40

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 1998

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds baked ham, ground
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the onion, and cook until translucent and tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk in the flour until combined; cook without browning, about 4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick, about 6 minutes.

  2. Stir in the ham, parsley, lime juice, and nutmeg until well combined; season with salt and pepper. Cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat; spread mixture over a baking pan. Chill, uncovered, about 2 hours.

  3. Remove the baking pan from the refrigerator. Using your hands, form the ham mixture into 2-inch-long croquettes.

  4. Pour the eggs and the bread crumbs into 2 separate medium bowls. Dip a croquette into the eggs, then roll in the bread crumbs, coating completely. Transfer the breaded croquette to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining croquettes. Let the croquettes stand, uncovered, 30 minutes

  5. Pour 4 to 5 inches peanut oil into a medium saucepan, and heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375 degrees. Working in batches, slip croquettes into the hot oil, without crowding, and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes; adjust heat as necessary to maintain oil at 375 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, remove croquettes from oil, and drain on paper towels. Serve with the lime wedges.

Cook's Notes

You can form the croquettes (steps 1 through 3) up to 2 days in advance; store them, covered, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to coat and fry them (steps 4 and 5).

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