Put leftover mashed potatoes to good use in these tasty ham and cheese croquettes. Small versions of these croquetas de jamón are popular as tapas (Spanish-style appetizers), but I like to make slightly larger ones and serve them as a main course, a variation on papa rellena. Leave out the ham (and add extra cheese) for a delicious vegetarian entree.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Yield: About 4-inch croquettes.
- 2 pounds yellow potatoes
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons Pamesan cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc)
- 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs) or regular bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoon minced parsley (fresh or dried)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Bring water to a boil, then cover and simmer potatoes until very tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and drain in a colander. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and place them in a large bowl.
- Add the butter and cream to the potatoes and mash well. Place them through a potato ricer to remove lumps, or mix them in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, the two egg yolks, and the grated cheese. Place potato mixture in the refrigerator and thoroughly chill.
- Once the potato mixture is well chilled, shape the croquettes: Place about 1/4 cup of potato mixture in the palm of your hand. Flatten it slightly and place several pieces of the diced ham inside. Fold the potatoes over the ham to enclose it completely, then shape the potatoes into an oblong croquette. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.
- Place 2 eggs in a shallow bowl, add 1-2 tablespoons water or milk, and whisk with a fork. Place the panko, the flour, and the parsley in another shallow bowl, and season mixture with salt and pepper. Dip the croquettes into the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off, then dredge croquettes in the flour/breadcrumb mixture. Repeat with remaining croquettes.
- Heat 2-3 inches of oil in a heavy sautée pan with tall sides (or use a deep fryer) to around 350 degrees. Carefully fry croquettes in batches until dark golden brown on all sides. Remove croquettes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
- To keep croquettes warm until ready to serve, or to reheat them, place them on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven.