Potato, Ham and Cheese Croquettes

posted by Al Matthews - 

Cooler fall weather always gets us craving for comfort foods, and this is one we discovered on a trip to Spain in 2014. Croquettes are the Spanish equivalent of chicken nuggets: they're found on every kids' menu...and my daughter ordered them just about everywhere we went! So it's no surprise that I "got the order" to make a batch of croquettes this weekend!

My family needs to eat gluten-free, so I substituted GF flour and breadcrumbs. It's still tastes great!


2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1 onion, minced 
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream 
6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated 
6 oz. ham, finely chopped 
salt and pepper 
1 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour like Cup4Cup
2 eggs 
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs) 
avocado oil for frying



Peel the potatoes, cut them into 1" cubes and boil them in salted water until tender. Drain and set them aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot the potatoes were in, then add the onions and saute until translucent. Put the potatoes back in the pot and add 1/4 cup of the heavy cream. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth. Add more cream, if needed, but be careful not to make it mushy.

Add the cheese and mix until it has melted in. Add the ham and mix again. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the contents of the pot into a metal bowl and place it in the freezer to cool, stirring every 10 minutes until the mashed potato mix is cold, but not frozen.

Line up three bowls: flour (or GF flour) in the first bowl, eggs (scrambled) in the second bowl, Panko (or GF breadcrumbs) in the third.

Remove the mashed potato mix from the freezer, and with floured hands, grab enough to gently roll a small meatball in your hands. (I've found that starting with a round shape makes it easier to work with.)

Roll the ball in the flour, then the egg, then drop in the Panko and roll again. With the ball in your hand, gently squeeze into a tubular shape, and then place it on a sheet pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Continue with the rest of the potato mixture. (You may need to add another egg or two if you run out.)

Once you've rolled all the croquettes, place the sheet pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up.

Heat a pan with 2" of oil to 350 degrees. Remove the croquettes from the freezer, and working in small batches, fry them until golden brown. Place on paper towels, and quickly season lightly with salt while hot, if desired.

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