This ham croquettes recipe with parsley sauce comes courtesy of James Villas, a man who knows his pork.
I am still on the bandwagon to restore all croquettes—meat, poultry, and seafood—to the prominent role they once played in every country-club dining room and department-store restaurant in the South, and none do I relish more than those made with some form of ham and served with a mustard, tomato, or cream sauce, or with this subtle parsley sauce. In truth, a well-made, carefully fried ham croquette is delicious just by itself (either as an appetizer or main course), and for ideal texture, I remain convinced that the mixture for these croquettes should be chilled overnight before being formed into patties. As with all croquettes, feel free to experiment with different secondary ingredients—olives, capers, bell peppers, and so on.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- , to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 cups ham, cooked, coarsely chopped
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
- , to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- 2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
- Peanut oil for frying
1. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, add the flour and stir till a smooth paste forms. Gradually add the milk, stirring till thickened and smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and parsley, stir till well blended, and keep the sauce warm over very low heat.
1. To make the croquettes, melt the butter in a saucepan over moderate heat, add the scallions and flour, and whisk till soft and well blended, about 2 minutes. Whisking rapidly, add the milk till well blended; add the ham, stir well, and remove from the heat. Whisking rapidly, add the egg yolks, return to the heat, add the mustard, sage, and salt and pepper, and whisk until well blended. Scrape the mixture into a dish, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
2. With your hands, divide the mixture into 6 balls and roll lightly in the extra flour. Pat the balls into smooth oval patties, dip briefly into the egg wash, dredge in the bread crumbs, and place on a plate till ready to fry.
3. In a large, heavy skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil over moderately high heat for about 1 minute, fry the patties till golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side, and drain briefly on paper towels. Serve the croquettes with the parsley sauce on the side.