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Ham and Spinach Croquettes

Ham and Spinach Croquettes

Go Gatsby for your next party with these tasty little appies.MORE+LESS-

2

tablespoons butter or margarine

2

tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 1/4

cups Betty Crocker™ mashed potatoes

1/2

cup chopped cooked ham

1/4

cup frozen spinach ,thawed and drained and cooked

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  • 1

    Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • 2

    In a large bowl, stir together Potato Buds™ and milk. Add onion mixture, ham, spinach and salt; stir thoroughly to combine.

  • 3

    Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Scoop tablespoonfuls of croquette mixture and, using your fingers, form into patties. Roll patties in breadcrumbs.

  • 4

    Fry croquettes on each side about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

No nutrition information available for this recipe


Spanish Spinach Croquettes

These Spanish spinach croquettes are a typical tapa in bars all around Spain. They’re simple to make, packed with flavour and make a great vegan party finger food or appetizer!

Although Spanish croquettes are fairly straightforward to make, they do take a bit of time – I ain’t gonna lie!

The difference between Spanish croquettes and other varieties of croquette is that the filling is made from a thick béchamel sauce to which you can add whatever flavouring you want. In order to make a smooth and creamy béchamel, you need to stir, stir, stir!

The filling then needs to be chilled for several hours or overnight in order for it to firm up to a consistency that you can handle and roll into a croqueta shape. Forming the croquettes one by one and dredging them in breadcrumbs before frying is the final time-consuming step but a great one to recruit your kids for!

So you’ll definitely need to be determined to make Spanish croquettes but you’ll be rewarded with a tasty tapa at the end! As I mentioned before, once you’ve got your béchamel filling ready, you can add any flavouring that you want.

Typically, croquetas would be made to use up any leftover bits of meat and veggies from the night before. For this recipe, I’ve made one of the common vegetarian options for Spanish croquettes: spinach. I then veganized it by using plant-based milk and oil in place of butter.

So coming up with a vegan recipe for Spanish spinach croquettes was really hard. No joke, every cook does the béchamel differently! The proportions of flour to fat to milk were different in every single recipe I checked.

That means that you can feel free to adapt this recipe to your tastes. If you want a creamier, but harder to work filling, add a bit more milk. If you don’t like spinach, try sautéed mushrooms or finely chopped vegetables instead.

If you’re interested in seeing more typical Spanish tapas done vegan, be sure to check out my Spanish potato salad (Ensaladilla Rusa) or my Spanish potato bombas .


Ham, Cheese and Spinach Croquettes

December is all about parties with family and friends, and these little guys will have your friends talking at your next party. In Brazil we make these with ground meat. I have had a ham and cheese croquette before too. I went ahead and gave these a whirl with my own little twist of using half aged cheddar, gruyere cheese and adding some spinach to the mix. Trying to convince myself that by adding spinach into it would give it a little bit of nutrition. I love hot sauce so I just drizzled some sriracha on the dish for dipping. I hope you enjoy this little treat.

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Chopped cooked ham

1/2 cup of Aged Cheddar Cheese

1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese

1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Tablespoon unsalted butter

2/3 cups of All purpose flour, (Plus another cup for breading)

4 cups of Whole Milk

Salt & Pepper, to taste ( remember the ham and cheese have salt to begin with)

1/4 cup of thawed spinach

1/2 Teaspoon of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of paprika, optional

Vegetable Oil or Peanut Oil (for frying)

2 Eggs, beaten, add 2 Tablespoons of water

2 Cups of Italian Panko Crumbs (you can use plain as well)

Preparation:

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, place butter and olive oil in pan & let melt for about 2 minutes. Next whisk flour in with butter and olive oil. Making it into a paste. Then slowly start to add the milk, whisk until there are no lumps and smooth. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika. Next add cheese and whisk then add ham and spinach. Whisking everything together. Place the mixture on a large flat plate or baking sheet and cool for about 1 to 2 hours.

After an hour or 2. Take out the mixture from the refrigerator and begin to form little balls about the size of a golf ball. Then place them in the flour, beaten egg and then panko. Place each ball to the side until they are all done.

Next, using a large dutch oven or large pot fill with vegetable oil halfway through. Oil should be between 350 to 360 degrees. Slowly drop the balls in a couple at a time. Fry for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate with paper towel. Let cool for a couple minutes before biting into them. (WARNING: They are super hot when removed from oil)


Ham and Cheese Croquettes

When I was in Spain I had the most delicious Ham and Cheese Croquettes, and I finally learned how to make them at home. These Ham and Cheese Croquettes are crispy crunchy on the outside and filled with a creamy cheesy mixture of manchego cheese and Iberico Ham. This is a traditional Spanish tapa that is easy to recreate at home.

My sister and I took our Mom to Spain for a very quick 24 hours on our way to Morocco. We discovered the best little tapas place called Casa Alberto, and sat at a tiny table and feasted on tapas. Kelly and I wanted to try the ham and cheese croquettes, so we ordered them. When we offered one to Mom she replied that she doesn’t like croquettes. We insisted that she try them and she has been talking about them ever since.

I wanted to make traditional Spanish Ham and Cheese Croquettes, so I filled the croquettes with Iberico Ham and Manchego Cheese, two very typical Spanish foods. You could use prosciutto and parmesan to give the croquettes an Italian twist. You could also use leftover roasted ham if you happen to have some.

I had wrongly assumed that croquettes would be hard to make. They only require about 30 minutes of preparation time. Each step is really easy, and I had most of the ingredients I needed at home already.

If you want to prepare the croquettes ahead of time, you can fry them and then place them in a warm oven so that they stay hot. This is an easy way to prep this snack if you are hosting a party.

I made these Ham and Cheese Croquettes for a dinner party and my friends loved them. Croquettes are one of those things that your friends will assume are complicated and time consuming to prepare – even though the active preparation time is only about 30 minutes.

I like to use a mix of breadcrumbs and larger panko crumbs. The breadcrumbs stick to the croquettes really well, and the panko gives an extra crunch. Using the technique of coating the croquettes in the crumbs, then the egg, and then back in the crumbs give the croquettes a nice thick layer of crunchy breadcrumbs.


Ham & Cheese Croquettes

These croquettes were easy to make and make in advance at that! I prepared the 'dough', rolled them into bite sized pieces, breaded them and chilled until I was ready to fry. I found by allow the breaded croquettes to chill helped the coating adhere and not fall apart as it cooked. These croquettes can also act as a great base recipe. You can sub the ham with cooked and shredded chicken breast and use a different cheese. I'm thinking I'll try a chicken & pepper jack croquette sometime soon.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, chives, and garlic cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl. Stir in ham, Cheddar cheese, and 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs.

Beat 3 eggs stir into ham mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your hands, make golf ball-size balls out of the ham mixture.

Spread remaining bread crumbs onto a plate. In a large bowl, beat 1 egg stir in water. Dip balls into egg mixture, and roll in bread crumbs. Place on a platter in a single layer, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place croquettes in hot oil being careful not to crowd, frying in batches. Fry until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to soak up grease.

2 comments

We ate at a Spanish restaurant a few weeks ago and had Ham & Cheese Croquettes. I can't wait to try this recipe at home. We loved the croquettes at the restaurant!

I will never forget my first croquette--prepared for me by my host mother in Spain when we were visiting her family in Malaga. I've been in love with them ever since.


How to Make Ham Croquettes

Ingredients (for 6 guests)

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • ½ glass of cream (100 ml)
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 4 cups of skim milk (1 liter)
  • 1 ½ cup of flour (180 g)
  • 2 trays of serrano ham(200 g)
  • 5 tablespoons of butter (100 g)
  • Breadcrumbs (the amount that’s needed)
  • Optional: onion, black pepper, nutmeg
  • Other: 1 ham bone

Directions

  1. Sift the flour and set to the side.
  2. Then, heat up the butter in a saucepan to melt it.
  3. Chop the ham into small pieces and set to the side.
  4. Also, mince the leek into small pieces and do the same with the garlic.
  5. Once the butter is melted, add the leek and garlic to poach them. When garlic has browned, add the ham and sauté everything for a couple of minutes.
  6. In a saucepan, heat the milk and cream. Add the ham bone so it starts to get nice and tasty. Be careful and don’t letthe milk reach a boil.
  7. While it sautés, add the flour and stir constantly to mix the together.
  8. Gradually, add the hot milk and cream mixture to the roux (onion, ham and butter mixture). It’s important that the mixture is smooth, uniform and without any lumps.
  9. Add the condiments to your own taste and pour it into a bowl.
  10. Now, let it cool down for around 2 to 3 minutes so the ingredients settle down and the mixture thickens.
  11. Add three containers in the following order: flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Once you’ve formed the Croquettes, use each of the containers to baste them before frying them. It’s important to knead them with your hand slightly covered with a drop of olive oil.
  12. Fry the croquettes with a lot of olive oil until they become golden brown on all sides.
  13. Serve with a little freshly chopped parsley.

What is Bechamel Sauce?

Bechamel sauce is sometimes called &ldquowhite sauce&rdquo. It is a basic sauce made from a cooked butter and flour roux that is then mixed with milk.

The classic bechamel ratio is 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp flour mixed with 1 cup of milk makes a nice and thin sauce. Two Tbsp of each makes a medium thick sauce, and three makes a very thick sauce.

Bechamel makes our Greek Chicken Pie super creamy and takes the French grilled ham and cheese, Croque Monsieur, to the next level!

To make croquetas we vary from the basic bechamel recipe slightly by adding more flour than fat to create a VERY thick sauce that can be shaped once it has chilled.


Ham and Spinach Mini Crustless Quiche

We had a spiral glazed ham for Thanksgiving. what to do with all that leftover ham? A girl can only eat so many frickin' sandwiches. so I made these! Pretty darn tasty if I say so myself!

I use Reynolds Foil Baking Cups and cooking spray to make clean up really easy for this recipe We had a spiral glazed ham for Thanksgiving. what to do with all that leftover ham? A girl can only eat so many frickin' sandwiches. so I made these! Pretty darn tasty if I say so myself!

I use Reynolds Foil Baking Cups and cooking spray to make clean up really easy for this recipe


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons finely chopped serrano ham
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese (about 1 3/4 ounces)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish

Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until butter has melted. Add onion season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add flour cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in milk, and cook, whisking, 3 minutes. Whisk in ham and 1/3 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet, and let cool completely. Mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Whisk together eggs in a shallow dish. Stir together breadcrumbs and remaining 1/4 cup cheese in another shallow dish. Scoop tablespoons of cooled mixture, and shape with floured hands into 2-inch ovals. Working with 1 oval at a time, coat in beaten egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Heat 2 1/2 inches oil in a large, heavy stockpot until it registers 375 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches to avoid crowding, fry croquettes, flipping once, until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. (Adjust heat between batches as needed to keep oil at a steady temperature.) Serve warm, garnished with parsley sprigs.


Ham Croquettes

Ingredients:
2 cups small dice ham*
1 small onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten**
3/4 cup bread crumbs or matzo meal

Melt butter in a pan, add oil and heat through. Add the ham, onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and spices and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Place in a covered container and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 8 or until firm.

Heat 1/2 inch canola oil in a large skillet. Place the egg and breadcrumbs/matzo meal in separate shallow bowls. Form the dough into 2 inch by 1/2 inch logs. Dip in egg then dredge in crumbs. Fry, turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel lined plates. Serve immediately.

*I diced leftover sliced ham so my “cubes” were on the flatter side. Whole or sliced (not deli) ham would work.
**I actually used some egg yolk leftover from making macarons but either would work.

My thoughts:

Why don’t we eat more croquettes in this country? When we were in Belgium, I ate a ton of croquettes aux crevettes (shrimp croquettes) and in planning our upcoming trip to Portugal, it looks like Lisbon is lousy with beef croquettes (croquetes). Occasionally we might make a fish cake but they aren’t as fun as the little log-shaped croquettes that are so abundant elsewhere. I’d like to change that. I made these using leftover spiral-sliced ham and just onion and garlic but they were super flavorful and surprisingly easy. When we went to a cooking class in Brugge, the chef showed us how to make croquettes aux crevettes but he had a big pan of flour and milk paste ready to go so all you needed to do was scoop some out and mix in the shrimp. That really isn’t practical for the home cook so I came up with this recipe which makes the “paste” on the stove trapping the ham inside. The croquette is a delight crisp on the outside, melty and warm on the inside.