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How to Make Cuban Croquetas (Croquettes)
This recipe for tasty croquetas uses chicken but ham is really popular too. You can also use fish, potato or cheese.
Croquetas are found at Cuban food stands as well as birthday partes, weddings and quinceñeras. There are countless versions so feel free to adapt to your own tastes. (This is a photo of Old Havana.)
Confession: I decided to make croquetas because I had some left over chicken. But I wasn't going to make a Snapguide because I didn't have exact measurements for the ingredients.
But then my daughter (who is away at college) begged me to make a guide so she could make them too. So this is for her and all of my Snapguide friends. This is her leaping for joy!
First you want to make a basic white/ bechamel sauce. Use your own recipe or follow mine. In a large, deep skillet, melt butter.
Add flour and whisk until smooth.
Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Simmer until mixture is thickened.
Meanwhile finely chop the onion. Or finely chop it with a knife on the cutting board.
Then in another pan, sauté the finely chopped onions and garlic (optional) in butter.
Meanwhile put your pieces of chicken in a food processor ( you can also use a meat grinder or blender) and grind it until it is finely chopped.
Like this. You can also use cooked ham, fish, potato or cheese. Whatever you use, you want it this consistency.
Finely chop the parsley in the food processor.
If you don't have a food processor, you can chop the parsley with a knife. Just make sure it's really finely chopped.
Now put the chicken, parsley, onions, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper into the white sauce and mix it all together. Cook for a few more minutes until mixture is thick.
Remove mixture from heat. Let cool. Then cover and put in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. The mixture will get really firm which makes it easy for you to make the shapes.
Next, shape the chilled, firm mixture into the croquettes (about 3 inches long, 3/4 inch in diameter).
A close-up shot. You can actually put these back in the refrigerator to firm up again. Or you can go to the next step which is to coat with egg and breadcrumbs.
Roll each croqueta in beaten egg.
Roll around until it's completely covered in egg.
Next put it into the breadcrumb bowl. (Check out my guide on how to make homemade breadcrumbs too!)
Thoroughly coat the croquettes with the breadcrumbs
Pat the breadcrumbs so the croqueta is thoroughly covered and be sure to shake off any excess breadcrumbs.
Here are the breaded croquetas ready to be fried.
To firm them up first, I'm putting them back in the refrigerator for a while. Croquettes can even be refrigerated overnight until ready to fry. Or frozen for a later date.
When you're ready to go, fry the croquetas in hot oil until golden brown. Remove when done and drain on paper towel.
You did it! Now enjoy!
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Bay Area, California USA
I love to create! All kinds of things. Food, crafts, jewelry, art, photos, theater, events, history, social justice. My proudest creation is my daughter!