Appetizers & Party Snacks

Croquetas de Jamon (Ham Croquettes)

This post for Cuban croquetas de jamon updated with new photos March 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project, where I add new photos to already delicious recipes. Enjoy!

Travel to Miami not required. Make Cuban croquetas de jamon at home with this easy to follow recipe. You can even make them in advance and cook from frozen! Croquetas are a perfect afternoon snack paired with Cuban coffee, light lunch, appetizer, or party food idea. * GoodieGodmother.com

We went to visit my baby sister in Lynchburg this weekend. Her husband is the associate pastor at a local church, so we went to their congregation this Sunday, and the messages left me thinking. My brother-in-law led the Sunday School class and the topic for the week was anger, how God views anger, and how we as Christians should not let ourselves fall into un-productive anger. It’s okay to be angry about certain things, it’s a human emotion, but it should inspire us to positive action and then it’s over. If we let anger into our hearts and into our lives we become angry people and our anger removes our focus from living the life God has planned for us.

Ham Croquettes Recipe

He went on to talk about modern implications and how we deal with anger with the tools available to us now – i.e. social media. Those vague Facebook posts? Not a productive way of dealing with anger or hurt. It’s best to speak to the person directly to try and resolve the issue. And this struck home for me because, while I don’t put up vague posts, I did once after someone un-friended me and I was a bit surprised, a little hurt, and yes, angry, that a situation had gotten to that point.

Spanish Croquetas

I should have done what is more like me, what I knew was right, and contacted her directly. Instead I let my anger get the best of me and I posted that vague status. After, it always did sort of bug me that the person I really wanted to talk to about it was the only person who never saw the post, but I never did anything about it. Which was silly, and Sunday reminded me of how silly that was. It was an incredibly immature way of doing things and that’s not the person I am or ever want to become. Direct communication is best, and if you’re curious, I did contact her with a late apology.

Travel to Miami not required. Make Cuban croquetas de jamon at home with this easy to follow recipe. You can even make them in advance and cook from frozen! Croquetas are a perfect afternoon snack paired with Cuban coffee, light lunch, appetizer, or party food idea. * GoodieGodmother.com

I’m sharing this here because I know we’ve all said things out of anger and when we do, we need to take responsibility for them. We also need to learn to identify the anger and not let it spread, the best remedy if you’re upset is to face the situation and communicate openly and respectfully. We should be spreading love, kindness, caring, beauty, not pettiness.

Croquetas de Jamon Recipe

And now on to the recipe! Croquetas are fantastic. They’re a great make-ahead party food (hellllloooo holiday parties), or addition to a meal. We typically enjoy them alongside a salad or soup, but will add them to an at-home tapas night spread as well (with an assortment of cheeses, crusty bread, and a sliced Tortilla Espanola). When we’re visiting family in South Florida, we find these at just about any walk up coffee window because they’re a popular afternoon snack. Last time we were there, we drove almost 30 minutes from my in-laws’ house just to have croquetas at this restaurant because they liked them so much. You don’t need to travel to Miami to enjoy these though… you probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen!

Travel to Miami not required. Make Cuban croquetas de jamon at home with this easy to follow recipe. You can even make them in advance and cook from frozen! Croquetas are a perfect afternoon snack paired with Cuban coffee, light lunch, appetizer, or party food idea. * GoodieGodmother.com

Baked croquetas de jamon

Because the recipe makes about three dozen, and there are only two people that will consume them in our home at the moment, I experimented with freezing the prepared croquetas and I’m happy to say the results were great! So don’t worry about making the recipe in advance and then storing the croquetas in your freezer. Just freeze them on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer to a ziploc bag or other freezer container. Do not thaw before baking or frying.

fried ham croquetas

Speaking of baking or frying, I also tested both. When you have croquetas de jamon at a restaurant or from a street stand, they are usually fried, but you can skip the oil and still get lovely crunchy-on-the-outside croquetas in the oven thanks to the double breading. Don’t skip that step! I actually think I preferred the baked, and it’s how I have been heating our freezer stash because I don’t fry frequently and hate the thought of using that much oil when I can achieve a practically identical result in the oven. This is not like the difference between fried fries and oven fries! The crunch was nearly indistinguishable between the two in a side by side test. The primary difference is that the oven baked croquetas didn’t get the even browning.

Travel to Miami not required. Make Cuban croquetas de jamon at home with this easy to follow recipe. You can even make them in advance and cook from frozen! Croquetas are a perfect afternoon snack paired with Cuban coffee, light lunch, appetizer, or party food idea. * GoodieGodmother.com

For comparison: The fried croquetas are on your left, and the baked are on your right. I shaped the baked into discs to increase the surface area touching the pan and promote browning. You don't have to do this

For comparison: The fried croquetas are on your left, and the baked are on your right. I shaped the baked into discs to increase the surface area touching the pan and promote browning. You don’t have to do this

If you don’t eat ham, you can substitute chicken, turkey, beef – your meat of choice.

Travel to Miami not required. Make Cuban croquetas de jamon at home with this easy to follow recipe. You can even make them in advance and cook from frozen! Croquetas are a perfect afternoon snack paired with Cuban coffee, light lunch, appetizer, or party food idea. * GoodieGodmother.com

Croquetas de Jamon (Ham Croquetas)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Traditional croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes) - a delicious and easy make-ahead dish that can be prepared either baked or fried. Makes about 36 croquetas.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounces ham, diced (I used a nitrate-free black forest)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • oil for deep frying (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the flour. Keep stirring for 2 minutes.
  2. Slowly add the milk and cream, stirring to incorporate and make a nice smooth roux.
  3. Add your spices and the ham (or meat of choice) and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Let the ham mixture cool completely so it's easy to handle.
  5. In the meantime, set up your prep station. Eggs beaten in one bowl, breadcrumbs in another, and a place to put the shaped croquetas for cooking.
  6. Take a tablespoon of the ham mixture, form it into the desired shape (a small rod or a ball is traditional) and roll in the breadcrumbs. Then dip it in the egg mixture, re-roll in the breadcrumbs, and set aside. Repeat until you've used all the ham.
  7. If you plan to freeze any, do so here.
  8. If you plan to fry: Heat about 2 inches of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Fry the croquetas in batches for about 3-4 minutes each and set on a paper towel to drain. Lower the heat if the croquetas are browning too quickly.
  9. If you plan to bake: Preheat your oven to 420 F and bake the croquetas for 12-15 minutes, turning halfway through if desired.

 

Pin for later…

Travel to Miami not required. Make Cuban croquetas de jamon at home with this easy to follow recipe. You can even make them in advance and cook from frozen! Croquetas are a perfect afternoon snack paired with Cuban coffee, light lunch, appetizer, or party food idea. * GoodieGodmother.com

Disclosure

Posts on Goodie Godmother may contain affiliate links, meaning that, should you click through and purchase, Goodie Godmother will receive a small commission. There is no cost to you, and any commission earned goes right to work helping me continue to bring you delicious recipes! That being said, I would never recommend a product I wouldn't or don't use myself and any opinions are 100% my own, always.

You Might Also Like

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Viv
    August 14, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Any tips on rolling into the rods? We attempted making some the other day and they just seemed to fall apart as I was breading them. They wer delicious, just looked terrible! And as a Cuban living in Utah with nowhere to buy croquettes I really need to figure these out (or I may go broke constantly flying down to Miami to bring them home)!

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      August 27, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      How long did you cook the roux? Mine cools to almost a play-doh consistency (it’s already thick coming off the stovetop) and once it’s cool it holds together pretty well. If it was already that thickness, maybe chop the ham a tiny bit smaller? Or even chill the mixture a few minutes and work with it cold. Sometimes, it can be a little more challenging depending on ambient humidity. But one of these tricks always works for me. 🙂

      It’s hard to find good Cuban food outside of South Florida, isn’t it? Good luck with this recipe!

  • Reply
    Stacey
    May 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Could you add cheese to these? Almost like a mozzarella stick.

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      May 19, 2017 at 8:45 am

      You can, there are cheese croquetas. 🙂 I would add half a cup of shredded cheese and remove 1/4 cup of heavy cream so the batter still “sticks”. Add in cream a tbsp at a time if needed.

  • Reply
    joan
    June 24, 2016 at 7:12 am

    can you freeze after frying and then re-heat in the oven, (to save time for a party)

    • Reply
      Mary (The Goodie Godmother)
      June 24, 2016 at 9:57 am

      I haven’t personally tried it, but I’m 90% sure it would work beautifully since that’s what they do with the croquetas sold in grocery stores. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hillary Reeves
    March 13, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    What a beautiful message. I have soo been there with the Facebook statuses. 😉
    Your croquettes look lovely. I have tried so many times to make them myself but I never get them right. Bookmarking your recipe, for sure!

  • Reply
    Paige @ Where Latin Meets Lagniappe
    March 11, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Mary!!! Croquetas are one of my husband’s very favorite snack! I am soooooo making these for him as a surprise — and I love your post — it makes me miss Miami!

  • Reply
    Brian Jones
    March 10, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Gotta give these a try, I usually associate croquettes with a potato filling but love the idea of doing it with a roux, sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    Whitney
    March 8, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I’m down for any type of Cuban goods. Actually, I’ve been craving Cuban lately. Eek.

  • Reply
    Byron Thomas
    March 7, 2016 at 7:46 am

    I’ve never heard of anything like this, but I love what I’m reading. Now, can one just leave out the meat entirely? Have you tried them substituting the ham for anything vegetarian?

    • Reply
      The Godmother
      March 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      You most definitely can! I have a cheese croqueta on my list for sometime in the near-ish future. If you use cheese in this recipe, use a hard cheese and I think it should work. You can also sub in some finely chopped veggies or soy crumbles and they’ll work too. 🙂 Croquetas are basically a creative way to use leftovers.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.