Whenever I have ham in the house I think of these croquettes. They aren't exactly light fare, so I'm often conflicted about making them, particularly because the times I do have ham, it tends to be around holidays when I've already eaten more than I should.
Thanksgiving this year was no different. I did try to be conscious about what landed on my plate. I only sampled slivers from 3 desserts instead of all 7 or 8 that graced the table after the football game! It's so difficult not to overeat, especially when there's so many things to chose from. I spent the holidays this year with a good friend who was here from NYC, and her extended family. We had turkey and ham and a large assortment of vegetables and casseroles. The corn was to die for (I will ask her mum for that recipe)!
These croquettes are a good way to use up leftover ham, but as I mentioned earlier, it's not the lightest dish I can think of. I did come across a recipe posted online by Emeril Laggasse who bakes his, (looking for ways to lighten these up), but in the end I took the plunge and fried them. I had no intention of adding cheese, but when I fried a small piece to check and adjust the seasoning, it seemed to be lacking something. The addition of cheese was was just what these needed.
3 potatoes, about 1 lb. (I used waxy)
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup ham, finely chopped or diced
1 "generous" tbsp dried parsley, or about 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
a few pinches freshly grated nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
about 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, diced
1/3 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
oil for frying
Wash the potatoes and cut them into a few large chunks. Boil them in lightly salted water until they are tender; about 10-15 minutes.
Remove the skins and mash them or put them through a ricer into a large bowl. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds, then add the onions. Adjust the heat, if necessary and saute the onions until they are translucent. Remove from heat and add to the potatoes.
Add the ham, parsley, nutmeg, pepper,eggs and cheese. Combine everything until well mixed.
Place the flour on one plate, the beaten egg on another, and the bread crumbs on a third.
Scoop up small amounts of the ham and potato mixture and form into small cylinders. Roll each one in the flour, then egg, then the bread crumbs.
Fry the croquettes in small batches in about 1/2 inch worth of oil in a heavy skillet heated to about 375°F. until they are browned on all sides.