How to make Croquettes
It is a wartime cookbook – we’re talking WW2 here. Since mom was born in 1935, it was obviously her mother’s cookbook. It’s a delightful look into how different food/recipes/cooking were back then. Unfortunately, it’s falling apart.
Every year, after Thanksgiving and Christmas, mom would pull out this book for one recipe – croquettes. It’s very old school, and most people I mention them to have no clue what I’m talking about. Mom would make turkey croquettes after Thanksgiving, and ham croquettes after Christmas. I remember her grinding the meat, running it through an old meat grinder. I loved when I saw that thing come out, because I love eating croquettes.
After making them a few times, I can see why she only did it twice a year, at most. After some discussion with my guy, we decided that I’ve maybe made them about once every 5 years.
It’s not that they are hard. It’s just messy and time consuming, because they are double dipped and then fried. Fortunately, my guy is the dishwasher sent from heaven – he always cleans up my messes with a smile, and never complains. I know, how lucky am I!
So, the recipe in the cookbook is actually for chicken croquettes (they add potatoes to the ham ones, which is a little too weird for me) but I just use the basic idea to make ham croquettes. I rarely make turkey – they just don’t have enough flavor for all the work.
So here goes – Ham Croquettes
Take a pile of leftover ham, cut into cubes/chunks. I think I had about a pound. Throw them into a food processor. Cube a small onion and add to the processor. Pulse until they are pretty well ground.
Make a medium thick white sauce – aha, you know how to do that, right? (https://mightaswelllaugh.com/2021/02/01/make-a-roux/)
1 T butter, 2 T flour, and 1 cup milk – and stir it into the ground ham. Chill it for an hour or two.
Set out 3 bowls, one with seasoned flour, one with seasoned bread or cracker crumbs, and one with eggs. Add salt and pepper and maybe a dash of Tabasco to the eggs.
Side note: here are my favorite seasonings that I used for this, and almost everything.
Shape some 2-3″ oval logs, and dip them in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. This is the messy, tedious part.
Heat up a pot of oil, and fry them, 4 or 5 at a time. They don’t take long – maybe 2-3 minutes. Please let them cool a few minutes – they will burn a hole through your tongue!
Serve them with some kind of dipping sauce. We tried ranch dressing, some sauce that I made of yogurt, sour cream and spices, honey mustard, and some leftover zesty sauce from burger king. We all picked a different one as our favorite, and mom preferred them plain.
I was planning to finish off this post by adding an actual recipe plug-in to the blog, allowing me to give you a real, printable recipe. Alas, the premium version of WP does not allow plug-ins. So until this site starts making money, you’re left with the old cut and paste routine. Sorry!
1 pound of leftover ham, in chunks
1 small onion, in chunks
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup flour, with salt, pepper and favorite seasonings (This is a guesstimate!)
3 eggs, with salt pepper and a dash of hot sauce (if it looks like you are going to run out of eggs half way through, add some water to thin it out.)
1 cup bread crumbs, with salt, pepper and favorite seasonings (This is a guesstimate!)
a pot of oil, or a fry daddy
your favorite sauce for dipping, optional
grind the ham and onion in a food processor until quite small
melt the butter, whisk in the flour, and let it cook a few minutes. Add in any seasonings.
off the heat, slowly whisk in the milk. slide it back on the heat and cook until thick.
stir the white sauce into the ham, and let it cool for a few hours.
add flour and seasonings to one bowl, eggs in a second, and crumbs in a third. Make a 2-3″ log out of the ham mixture, coat in flour, then egg, and then crumbs. put on wax paper.
heat up a pot of oil, and slowly lower a couple of croquettes in. Don’t drop them in – you will get splashed and burned. cook a few minutes, until golden brown and delicious. Put on paper towels to drain off some oil. Let them cool a few minutes, and enjoy.