I love Cuban sandwiches, so this recipe brings the flavor profile of a traditional Cubano to this classic finger food. Whenever I have gatherings, these are always a crowd favorite, so they make the perfect surprise for parties. I make them the night before, refrigerate the balls overnight and they come out perfectly. Enjoy them with a mojito and imagine yourself in a classic Havana bar. Read on to find out how to make Cuban croquetas!
Makes 8 to 10 croquetas
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole milk, warm
2 ounces cooked ham, minced
2 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup chickpea flour
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Peanut oil, for frying
FOR THE CROQUETA BASE
Prepare a large sheet tray by covering it with plastic wrap.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking to make a paste. Add the milk slowly, whisking constantly and cooking until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the ham, Swiss cheese and mustard. Pour the croqueta mixture onto the prepared sheet tray to cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
BREAD THE CROQUETAS
Set up a progressive breading station with three shallow bowls, one for each: chickpea flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.
Flour your hands and roll the chilled croqueta base into walnut-sized tubes. Coat each tube in flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs, making sure the croqueta base is thoroughly covered and sealed. Set aside on a clean plate and continue until all croquetas are formed and breaded.
FRY THE CROQUETAS
Line a plate with paper towels. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, heat oil to 375°F/190°C and deep fry the croquetas in small batches, 2 or 3 at a time. When toasty brown on the outside, transfer the croquetas onto paper towels to drain. Continue until all the croquetas are fried.