Cuban Style Ham & Cheese Croquetas


Ingredients

INTERIOR

Ham

  • 764.5 grams ground king oyster mushrooms
  • 1tbsp smoky ham marinade

Smoky Ham Marinade

  • 4tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Other Filling

Mashed Potatoes

  • 1.5 cups dehydrated potatoes
  • 1.25 cups hot unsweetened unflavored plant-based milk
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1.5 tsp fine sea salt

Onions

  • 3 tbsp small diced yellow onion
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp vino seco
  • Approx 8 tbsp vegan butter

 

EXTERIOR

  • 2 servings prepared Follow Your Heart VeganEgg batter per instructions (+ another ½ cup of water)
  • 4 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Approx 2 liters vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Separate the mushroom stalks and rinse off any dirt or debris. Roughly cut into chunks and pulse in a food processor until the mushrooms resemble the texture of ground meat. You may have to do this in batches until you’ve completed all your mushrooms (think small peppercorn like in shape).
  2. Set a skillet to medium-high heat and melt 1 tbsp of vegan butter. Once melted, add a thin layer of mushroom grounds, enough to cover the pan but do not overcrowd! Overcrowding a pan with mushrooms means you’ll end up soggy mushrooms that don’t crisp and brown properly. The goal here to get the grounds to a golden light brown color then remove them from the pan and into a bowl. This may take you quite a few steps until you’ve finished your grounds, using 1 tbsp of butter for each batch until all mushrooms are cooked. Note, you can add a tiny pinch of salt to a couple of the mushroom skillet batches, however, salting each batch will leave you with very salty croquetas, so be mindful. You can always add salt to your liking in the final mixture!
  3. For the ham marinade, simply put all contents into a bowl or measuring cup then whisk together. Add 1 tsp of the marinade to the cooked ground mushrooms and mix together. The leftover marinade can be stored for up to 1 week and is a perfect seasoning to make any plat based bacon with!
  4. Prepare the mashed potatoes. This recipe is timely and involved, dehydrated potatoes are an excellent time saver and provide excellent consistency to bind the interior of the croquetas together.
  5. Heat a skillet to medium high and add 1 tbsp of butter until melted, add in the onions and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Add the nutmeg and stir together for about 1 minute or until the onions become translucent. At this point, add the vino seco to the mixture and stir together. Remove from heat once alcohol has evaporated. Set aside.
  6. Using the larger grating side of a grater, take the block of gouda and begin to grate until you’ve reached 1 cups worth. Set aside.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the mushrooms, cheese, potatoes, and onions. Mix together until everything is thoroughly distributed.
  8. Prepare the Follow Your Heart Egg Wash according to box instructions whisking in an extra 1/2 cold water for a runnier consistency.
  9. Pour breadcrumbs into a bowl and prepare to assemble the croquetas.
  10. Shape the croquetas into 3” x 1” logs until you’ve finished the batch.
  11. Coat each shape in bread crumbs, then using a basting brush, coat the croqueta with the Follow Your Heart egg, bread again after that, coat with once more egg wash, bread, then set aside for frying.
  12. Set your electric fryer or a pot with a thermometer attached to 374 degrees. If using a pot, ensure the depth is enough to fully submerge the croqueta in oil while in a contained fry safe basket or metal skimmer. Fill generously with oil. Once the heat is at temperature, test 1 croquet and fry until golden brown. Once you have a feel for the cooking time, you can cook in batches if using a deep fryer until all croquetas are ready. If using a skimmer and pot for frying, you can also cook in batches so long as your basket or skimmer has enough room for each croquet). Serve immediately and enjoy!
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