Take your dinner to the next level with this Rice and Ham Croquettes Recipe.
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup diced sweet onion
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs
3 cups cooked rice, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons finely diced country ham or prosciutto
½ cup finely chopped scallions (white part and 2 inches into green)
3 ounces cream cheese, very soft
2 tablespoons whole milk
1¼ cups panko bread crumbs
4 to 6 cups canola or other frying oil
Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and cook until fragrant and soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes and cover.
When the sauce comes to a simmer, turn the heat to low and continue to simmer partially uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until the sauce is thick.
Make the croquettes: Preheat the oven to 225ºF. 3. In a large bowl, mix the rice, ham, scallions, and cream cheese until thoroughly combined. Season the mixture to taste with salt and black pepper.
Beat one of the eggs well, add it to the bowl, and stir gently with a spatula until evenly coated.
Using wet hands, form the rice mixture into Ping-Pong size balls.
Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with the milk.
Put the bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip the balls in the egg and then roll in the crumbs until evenly coated.
Pour the oil into a 4-quart (or larger) Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot to a depth of about 1½ inches.
Turn the heat to medium high, and when the oil reaches 350ºF on a frying thermometer, fry the rice balls in batches, about six at a time, turning them in the oil as they brown, for about 3 minutes total.
Transfer as finished to the oven, placed on a heat-proof plate lined with a paper towel.
When all the rice balls have been fried, serve with the warm tomato sauce.
Recipe from The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen