Sunday, February 17, 2008

Las Croquetas de Miriam (Ham Croquettes)

Today a group of friends got together to learn how to make Cuban-style Ham Croquettes - Croquetas de Jamón. There was a wonderful sense of camaraderie, lots of wine and lots of laughter as two generations of Cuban women got together to teach, learn and share stories.

Now, get ready to learn how to make "croquetas"!

This was our teacher, Miriam

The Recipe - makes approximately forty croquettes - about 2 inches long.


2 lbs. ground ham
8 tablespoons Butter
2 teaspoons finely minced onions
2 cups Milk (or one 12 oz. can of evaporated milk, completing the 2 cups with whole milk)
1½ cups All Purpose Flour
⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ teaspoon Nutmeg (optional)
Salt to taste

Eggs as needed
12 oz. Cracker Meal
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste

  1. Grind ham (in grinder or food processor).
  2. In a blender mix the milk, flour and nutmeg.
  3. In a skillet, sweat the onion in butter until it's translucent.
  4. Add the ham to the onion and butter mixture and combine.
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the skillet and cook over medium heat.
  6. Fold the ham, flour mixture and onion mixture into a paste.
  7. Refrigerate the paste overnight.
  8. The next day form the paste into 2 inch croquettes.
  9. Dredge each croquette in cracker meal.
  10. Dredge each croquette in egg seasoned with salt and pepper.
  11. Dredge each croquette in cracker meal again.

  12. Fry croquettes in hot canola oil until golden brown while constantly rolling them in the oil - ensure the croquettes are not touching.
    The finished product!

NOTE: The coated croquettes can be frozen in plastic wrap or aluminum foil indefinitely. Just thaw them before frying.

Let us know if you try "las croquetas de Miriam" and if you liked them.

Until next time...¡buen provecho!


purplepassion said...

First, I had a great time. Second, when I got home my boys immediately had me fry some up to try them. They were excellent! I then wrapped the rest like Miriam taught us to freeze.
Remember this same recipe can be used for ground chicken instead of ham.

sari said...

sounds wonderful!!!

Tere said...

OMG I want croquetas right now!!!

Karoda said...

is there a sauce that goes over them after done or just eat them as is? i'm wanting to try them. thanks again and i'll be a regular visitor to this blog.

Hilda said...


The traditional way to serve them is without any sauce, but some restaurants serve them with a cilantro garlic sauce for dipping. They're also good dipped in ketchup!

Another traditional croqueta dish is called "Croqueta Preparada" (Prepared Croquette) where a slightly smooshed croqueta, a slice of ham and a hamburger pickle slice are served between saltine crackers like a little sandwich. YUM!

kelleymensa said...

Those look wonderful. I'm a native South Floridian and a foodie, so I'm aways up for learning something new. We may have to have croquetas this weekend. Any chance of getting pastelitos de carne on your schedule?

Hilda said...

Kelly - You never know...maybe someday we will make "pastelitos de Carne" - those are among my favorites!

Correction - I mistakenly referred to the saltine/croqueta sandwich as a "Croqueta Preparada", when in reality that is a "Galletica Preparada". A "Croqueta Preparada" is basically a Cuban Sandwich with a couple of croquetas added. Thanks to my co-worker Frank for catching the error.

Dixie said...

They really do look tasty. And the photos are helpful too!

Dayngr said...

Delish! Can't wait to give these a try @ home. mmmmmmmmmm

N.G. said...

Please I am looking forward to more!

I would like to see you guys prepare/ make,

"Boliche Asado", "Frituritas de Bacalao", and "Caldo Gallego"

Anonymous said...

Please I would like to learn to make,

Friturita's de Bacalao, Caldo Gallego, y Boliche Asado

Hilda said...

Well, boliche is on the list...look for it soon!

Anonymous said...

Thanks I love how you started the blog.

If you keep at it and keep adding what you guys make this will turn into a FABULOUS blog.

You guys should contact the Cuban blog:

after your blog includes more. It'll get really popular. :)

Hilda said... and I have *issues*. :)

purplepassion said...

Yes, Boliche is on the list already and I am talking someone into Caldo Gallego. Now, frituras de dad's mom made those I haven't had them in like +20 years! That would be good. I gotta work on that one.

Anonymous said...

So when you guys posting the Boliche Asado??? Or cookin it

Anonymous said...

Fabulous idea guys, I live in Miami, born and raised mom and dad are cuban, The pictures are very helpful. I look forward to the boliche.

R said...

After you pour the flour mixture into the ham, how long do you cook the paste? Good job on this blog.

Anonymous said...

how do you make cuban bread!i'm from hialeah just moved to california..and there isnt anything like this over i've decided to make my own!:)does anyone have an idead how to do it that actually tastes like hialeah :)..thanks alot apreciate it.

Anonymous said...

look delish!!! My Cuban aunt makes them great! She's going to come over next week to help me although ill deffinetley have to make urs! I freeze some of my aunt's and fry them up with urs and ill have a tasting party! :) Well a one person one. Thanks so much for putting this up!


Sibisan said...

Those croquetas look delicious!!! Both of my parents are Cuban so I grew up eating all sorts of yummy cuban food but my mom has never given me a recipe for croquetas and I LOVE them!!! Many thanks for the recipe!

Janie said...

Can I use this recipe with salmon? My best friend is from Cuba and remembers her mother making salmon croquetas and I would like to make them for her. Please help!!! Thanks!

Cristina said...

Hi Janie,
I did a little research in some cuban cookbooks and yes you can substitute fish for the ham and use the same cooking process. The only suggestion I found was to add seafood seasonings to the ground fish for added flavor.
Good luck and be sure to let us know how they turn out.

Derek said...

authentic croquetas.
Por Ultimo!!

Jessica said...

But how about croquetas de QUESO? Like El Brazo Fuerte at 1697 Southwest 32nd Avenue please???

Christina DiBlase said...

I would love to see how the traditional Cuban Tamales are made. Mom is Cuban and Dad is Italian and I remember Mom cutting down the corn off the husks and running the kernels through the blender. She would add pieces of puerco from the pork chop and corn meal (Im guessing)and other things like achote etc then she would lay out the corn leaves (dont remember if they were green or yellow) and with a big spoon lay the mixture, wrap the leaves and tie with string. After popping in the boiling water for a while they would come out ready to eat. She'd would make care packages for my uncle and aunt and freeze some for us if the lasted that long!

Its nice to see this gathering of Cubans. Alas! Christina

Anonymous said...

Thank You
what a great way to keep traditions going. I feel I just had a cooking class from a dear aunt.

Anonymous said...

These croquetas taste just like mi abuela's mmm. She shared the recipe with me when I was younger, she didn't want me to forget our cuban heritage. Thank you for posting this. Since finding the recipe I have been making croquetas at least once a month. I also make them using chicken and ground beef. DELICIOSO!

mere said...

Am looking for a recipe I saw once, my girlfriend made it for a party of afew friends it,contained
2 meats one was a steak and the other don't remember. But she fixed this wonderful meal she tenderized the steak and added another kind of meat with some veggies and rolled it .looked like a log roll. She tied it and put it in the oven to cook . My friend went back to Cuba and i wanted to find this recipe or something like it. Could you please help me with this don't know the name of it but I would appreciate it very much if you could print a recipe like this for me . Esmeralda

Hilda said...

We already have that recipe posted! It's called "Carne Fria" and it's right here:

Anonymous said...

My Mother-in-law is Cuban and used to make ham croquetas all the time. I saw this recipe and used my leftover holiday ham to make these for my family. My wife said they tasted just like her mom's and my three sons ate 25 between them. I had enough leftover to freeze some for my Mother-in-Law. Thanks for the recipe.

Roxane said...

About the dipping sauce, they have these at a restauraunt called Firefly, and they put melted cheese over them! It is so good!

Anonymous said...

I moved to Iowa from South Florids years ago and missed the food all the time. This recipe was so easy and the croquetas didn't come out all that bad. I think personally it's all about practice to make them perfect. Anyway thanks for sharring your recipe.

Chele said...

"Pour the flour mixture into the skillet and cook over medium heat." How long do you cook the mixture over medium heat?

Cristina said...

Hello Chele,

I have made these a couple of times already and I honestly don't remember exactly how long I cooked it at that point. I can tell you, I cooked it and stirred it long enough for the flour mixture to incorporate with ham and became thick and pasty. Not sure if that helps. I will try to time it next time I make them.

Hollywood, FL Cubanchick said...

Croquetas can be deep fried for a few minutes until they are golden brown in color, or they can be pan fried for about three to four minutes constantly rolling them back and forth in the pan to keep the filling from literally popping out. Once you get a good crust on the entire croqueta, and it's a deep golden brown color, you are done. Remember, all the ingredients are already cooked, it's just a matter of getting a good crust on the entire croqueta.

Anonymous said...

I made this twice for my husband who is Cuban & I'm proud to say they keep tasting better each time. Thanks So much for the recipe, I'm expected to make these by his family for the holidays which is flattering considering they are all great cooks :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this recipe! However my croquettes split open while frying. What did i do wrong???

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe. My husband grew up in Miami and has been craving these. Came out perfect. Now he's asking for "meat pies"? I can't find a recipe. He said they are balls of seasoned meat with mashed potatoes and fried. Any clue what the real name is or a recipe would be awesome. Thanks!

Hilda said...

Anonymous from December 6, 2012

I'm glad you liked the rcipe - it's definitely our most popular!

Your huban is talking about "Papas Rellenas". We don't have a recipe fo those - yet. Keep checking, you never know when it might pop up!

Anonymous said...

Papas Rellenas is easy use the recipe for Picadillo de Joaquin as a filling and mashed potatoes as the wrapper and then use the same method to coat the croquetas and fry until golden brown

ROSA said...


Cristina said...

I think they are splitting because the oil isn't hot enough. to test the oil, sprinkle a tiny bit of the bread crumbs and they should sizzle. don't crowd the pan and roll them right when you put them in the oil. Remember it's all cooked your only frying to make a quick crust.
Sorry I took so long to answer and I hope this helps.

Liz said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! GRACIAS! My husband is Bahamian so moved me from Miami to the Bahamas. I have been DYING without these for....well...anytime....I taught myself how to make so much of my favorite Cuban foods but was so scared to try to do this! It worked. Happy Husband! Happy Wife! This blog is just wonderful and the directions were so great.

Adriana Lopez said...

Gracias Miriam por ensenarme a hacer croquetas . Con estas receta las he echo de pollo y jamon con queso y me quedan sensacionales :)