Luna Croquetas de Jamon y Queso (Ham & Cheese Moon Croquettes)

Recipe By: Calphalon Team  -  Originally Published: 10/12/2012

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Luna Croquetas de Jamon y Queso (Ham and Cheese Moon Croquettes)

This Cuban recipe is great to use for a cocktail party, game day or a family meal. You can make a double batch and freeze the extras for another time.

  • Servings: Serves 4
  • Prep Time: Less than 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: Less than 60 Minutes
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Course: Entrée

Ingredients

​3 lbs. ham, diced in large chunks 

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 white onion, diced 

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/4 bunch parsley, chopped finely

1/2 tsp. fresh nutmeg, grated

1/2 c. heavy cream (no substitutes)

1 c. flour, divided 

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. shredded cheese (mozzarella or light cheddar)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 c. cracker meal (or ground up saltine crackers) 

small bottle of Canola oil (for frying)

Directions

​In a large pan, sauté ham, peppers, onion and garlic. Add tomato paste, mix well and caramelize. 

Add parsley, nutmeg and heavy cream.  Sprinkle with 1/2 c. flour. 
 
Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste (no more than a few pinches). Let it cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 

Pulse the mixture in a food processor in short intervals until the mixture has the consistency of ground beef. 

Add the shredded cheese and do an additional pulse to combine the cheese into the mixture. Be careful not to over mix. 
 
Put the mixture on a greased cookie sheet and use a rolling pin to flatten it out to about 1/2 - 3/4 in. thick. Use a moon shaped (or any other cookie cutter) to cut out as many shapes as possible. 
 
Prepare a breading area with 3 separate bowls - a bowl of 1/2 c. flour, a bowl of beaten eggs and a bowl with the cracker meal. Sequentially put each moon through the flour, eggs and then cracker meal. Set aside in preparation for frying. 
 
Heat a sauté pan filled with 1 in. of canola oil to 375°F/190°C. Fry each moon until golden brown. Remove each moon and let them sit for 10 minutes on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any remaining oil. 
 
The moons can be served hot or cold. They can also be frozen for the future and reheated in a toaster oven or regular oven.