Ham leftovers meet Spanish flair with these cheesy fried bites complete with a simple dipping sauce.
By Keith Jackie
These ham and cheese croquettes were born when Keith and I were sitting at the table looking at all the leftover ham we had. Keith had been rolling around ideas for croquettes in his mind; his mother used to make a beef version for him when he was a kid. Combining our delicious baked ham with some sharp cheddar cheese seemed like a natural thing to do, and boy did it pay off!
Keith’s mom’s croquettes were made with leftover roast beef and onions. He talks about them a lot. When I took him for a meal of Spanish tapas one evening, he raved about the croquetas de jamón (ham croquettes), declaring how much they reminded him of his mother’s creation. Our croquettes are the perfect blend of Ohio home cooking and Spanish flair. The hearty texture and rich, complex flavors are pleasing to adults and kids alike, and it sure beats another ham sandwich!
And Keith whipped up a simple sauce flavored with mustard for dipping. It all looked pretty gourmet, but seemed to take no time at all.
- 2 C diced ham
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP flour
- ½ C flour
- 1½ C bread crumbs
- 1 C milk
- 1 TBSP parsley flakes
- ½ C mayo
- ¼ C brown mustard
- 1 C shredded cheese (we used cheddar jack)
- 1 C canola oil
- In a saucepan, melt margarine and add flour and combine. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute
- Add milk, whisk and cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Add shredded cheese and combine until melted.
- In a food processor, chop ham until a small dice.
- Add ham to cheese mixture.
- Remove from pan and spread over a plate or small sheet pan
- Refrigerate until cool
- In a small bowl, crack 1 egg and whisk in 1 tbsp water
- Set up breaking station with 3 bowls, egg mix bowl, flour bowl and a bread crumb bowl mixed with parsley.
- Remove mixture from refrigerator and scoop about a tbsp of mixture and roll into balls in your hand and then flatten slightly to resemble the shape in the picture.
- Continue until all are formed.
- In a sauté pan heat ¼ c oil and have plate ready covered with paper towels
- Take croquettes and coat lightly with flour, then dip in egg and then in bread crumbs until coated.
- Place in sauté pan and fry till browned, turning to brown all sides
- Remove and place on paper towel lined plate.
- To make sauce: combine mayo with brown mustard (yes it's that easy!)
- Serve and enjoy