Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ham Croquettes with Cheese Sauce

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My mom made ham croquettes whenever she had leftover ham, including scraps and pieces. They're worth the time and effort for taste and an economical attractive meal, as a little ham goes a long way.

They can be made in varied sizes and shapes for a dinner or an appetizer table.  It took me a few tries over the years to achieve the firm consistency needed to hold them together for frying, but discovered chilling the mixture does the trick, or making ahead and freezing until ready to fry.


With more leftover ham coming up after Easter, these will be on my menu plans several times in coming months.  I plan on making a big batch, or doubling the recipe, then freezing croquettes ready for future frying, a real time saver.



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Mixture Ready to Shape
Ham Coquettes with Cheese Sauce
2 Tabs. butter
4 Tabs. flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup minced onions
1 tsps. parsley
1/4 tsp. of nutmeg
1-1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups minced ham, cooked
1 beaten egg with 1 shell of water, about a Tab.
oil for cooking

Melt butter and blend in flour and onions, cook for a minute or two to make a roux, then slowly stir in milk.  Cook until very thickened, almost like paste. Stir in finely chopped/minced ham, parsley, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, cooking a few more minutes until all is blended.  Cool mixture in refrigerator at least an hour.  Shape into small balls (an inch to inch-and-a half ) or small logs ( 3/4-inch thick and 2-3 inches long). If mixture seems too thin to shape, add more bread crumbs.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppCoating:  Roll shaped croquettes in bread crumbs, dip in beaten eggs, then roll in bread crumbs again.  Refrigerate again for 2 hours or chill more quickly in freezer before frying.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppFry several at a time in hot oil (350 degrees) 2 or 3 minutes turning until golden brown on sides or deep fry at 375 degrees, for 1or 2 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Croquettes may be frozen after shaping and coating for future use as appetizers or quick dinner. Makes 12-24 depending on size made.  Serves 4-8.

Cheese Sauce
1 Tab. butter
2 Tabs flour
1 cup of milk
1 to 2 tsps. prepared mustard, according to taste
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 a cup of shredded cheese of choice: Swiss or Cheddar

Make a roux with butter and flour, adding milk, stirring and cooking for a thick white sauce, then stir in mustard and cheese until melted.  Serve over croquettes or use for dipping sauce.

Variations: Ground chicken, salmon or tuna can be used instead of ham for Chicken Croquettes, or Salmon Croquettes, Tuna Croquettes

Estimated cost: $3.00 or less; .75 cents or less per serving of allowing 3 or 4 per person.