These Leftover Potato and Ham Croquettes are my favorite holiday leftover meal. I make them over Thanksgiving and Christmas and they are always a hit.
Why you will love this recipe
This recipe is an excellent way to use your leftover mashed potatoes and ham from Thanksgiving or Christmas.
This recipe is a classic Latin recipe that is popular in countries like Cuba. Variations of this recipe are abundant throughout LatinAmerica.
They are easy to assemble. All the heavy lifting is already done for you and all you need is to shape the croquettes and fry them.
In Colombia we make these croquettes with ground beef and they are one of my favorite things to eat when I visit home.
Besides your leftover mashed potatoes and ham, you will need just a handful of ingredients that are staples in almost every house hold.
Of course, you could make this recipe completely from scratch. If that is the case, my Mashed Potato recipe is a great one to follow.
- Mashed Potatoes: These should be well seasoned already, if not add salt and pepper and make sure the potatoes taste good.
- Ham: For this recipe dice the leftover ham into small pieces.
- Egg: This ingredients helps us form the croquette and bind it together.
- Flour: This ingredient helps with protecting the potatoes from absorbing extra oil when deep frying.
- Panko bread crumbs: This ingredient is key to achieve that nice golden brown outer crust.
Expert tips to make the best potato and ham croquettes
Starting with the mashed potatoes, they are best when chilled because they hold up the croquette shape better than room temperature potatoes.
The order in which you add the flour, egg wash and panko crumbs is important.
Start with rolling the croquette in all purpose flour. This will create a nice seal that will prevent the potatoes from soaking in the oil when frying.
Next is the egg wash and then the panko crumb coat. The egg will help the panko crumbs to stick better to the croquette.
Make sure your oil is hot. If the oil isn't hot enough, the croquettes will be oily.
Assuming you are using leftovers, the mashed potatoes should be chilled, otherwise which in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
In a heavy bottom pan, add about 2 cups of frying oil. I love using avocado oil for a healthier alternative with a high heating point. Oil should be hot (about 350 Fahrenheit)
Dice the ham and prepare your flour, egg wash and panko crumbs into bowls.
Grab a golf-size ball of mashed potatoes and lightly flatten it, add the diced ham in the center and start enclosing the croquette forming a ball.
There should be no visible pieces of ham and the croquette should be as round as you can make them.
Place the croquette in the bowl containing the flour and lightly roll the potato balls until fully coated in flour.
Carefully add the croquette to the bowl with the beaten egg until well coated with the egg.
Quickly place the croquette in the bowl with the panko crumbs and make sure is coated on all the sides. Roll it a few times if necessary and gently press the panko crumbs with your hands.
If you'd like to make pancakes, check the blog This Delicious House recipe for Potato Pancakes.
Leftover Mashed Potato and Ham Croquettes
- 1 cup Mashed potatoes
- ½ cup Diced ham
- ¼ cup All purpose flour
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- In a heavy bottom pan add about 2 cups of avocado oil over high heat
- Divide the mashed potatoes into 4 golf size balls
- Flatten the potato balls lightly and add about ½ tablespoon of the diced ham in the center
- Enclose the balls with both hands until the ham is no longer visible
- Add the potato balls in the bowl with the flour and lightly coat them
- Add the croquettes to the bowl with the beaten egg and fully coat them
- Move the croquettes to the bowl with the panko crumbs and roll them until fully coated pressing lightly
- Fry the potato balls for about 5 minutes until golden brown turning them on both sides for even browning
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