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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ham & Cheese Croquettes


  • Looking for the perfect finger food to serve at your cocktail party?  Maybe you want to bring something delicious for game day?  Or perhaps you just want a way to serve a tried and true classic with a twist.  Well I have a great recipe for you!  Ham and cheese is a beloved pairing, and is sure to satisfy in any form.  This recipe gives you a new way of looking at ham and cheese in a delicious croquette, or fried finger food. 
I made these as part of our appetizer dinner for New Year's Eve this year and hubby and I scarfed them down in no time.  Make this recipe for your next get together and you'll be amazed at how fast they disappear!  

I adapted this recipe from one found on Food Network.  The original recipe served the croquettes with a pea sauce that didn't sound appealing to me at all.  Instead, I served mine with a Chardonnay dijon mustard, but I think a good homemade ranch would do well, too.  Enjoy!

Ham and Cheese Croquettes

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup diced thinly sliced ham
  • 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    • Vegetable oil, for frying
    • 2 large eggs, beaten
    • 1 sleeve saltines (40 crackers), roughly crushed

    Directions

    Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour, the cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to make a dry, stiff mixture, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk to make a smooth paste. Stir until the batter forms a ball, about 3 more minutes.
    Remove from the heat; stir in the ham, cheese and thyme. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Cool, then refrigerate until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to 1 day.
    Heat about 3 inches of oil to 340 degrees in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the remaining 1/4 cup flour, the eggs and the saltine crumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Cut the chilled dough into 20 4-inch-long croquettes. Dredge each in flour, then dip in the eggs, letting the excess drip off, and roll in the saltines.
    Fry the croquettes in the oil in batches until golden brown. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt and serve with sauce of your choice.  

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