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!

croquetas.jpg

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.

Discover more Cuban recipes during our new Cuban Family Table class at The Culinary Center on board Marina & Riviera. We hope to see you in Cuba this fall!

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