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Tu Vez Latino Culinary Academy: Croquetas De Jamon

Welcome to the Tu Vez Latino Culinary Academy! We are determined to teach Latino men how to feed themselves without having to go to a drive-through. Will it be an old family recipe? A delicious cocktail? A trade secret? Stay tuned to find out!

There are foods that you associate with certain times of the year- mid-summer grilled hot dog, a winter’s mug of hot chocolate, a fall slice of pumpkin pie. For me, one of the tastes of summer is my aunt Nieves’ croquetas de jamon. These little ham treats are so delicious, you can easily find yourself eating 20 in a single sitting, (and I have). They are simple to make and are a great appetizer or finger food when you have people over. When you are getting your Super Bowl party together this week, why not make some croquetas?

Croquetas De Jamon

1 Pound of ground ham. This isn’t deviled ham mystery meat. This is smoked ham that has been ground. Don’t use regular ground pork either, as it is uncooked and you’ll get trichinosis.
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tsp lime juice
1/2 Tsp nutmeg (secret ingredient alert!)
1 Tbsp flour
Vegetable oil
2 Eggs
2 Cups milk
1 Tsp salt and pepper
2 Cups dry bread crumbs

Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat. When it melts, add the flour and milk and whisk constantly or else it will burn. Once it’s become a paste, add the ham, salt and pepper, nutmeg, and lime juice. Mix it well and let it cook on low for few more minutes. Put the filling in a bowl and stick it in the fridge for an hour or so. Whip the eggs in a bowl as if they were bad guys in an Indiana Jones movie. Put the bread crumbs in a second bowl. Take out the filling and shape them into little 1 inch long nubbins. Dip them in the egg and then in the bread crumbs, covering them completely. Heat the oil in the frying pan on medium-high heat and fry the croquetas a few at a time. Don’t crowd them too much or they won’t cook as well. Flip them around until all sides are golden brown. They can burn easily so don’t get distracted thinking about monkeys or anything. Drain them on paper towels and them eat them!

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