Salmon comes to mind when one thinks about croquettes, however, croquettes can be made out of any chopped meat – with or without potato and parsley, rice, pasta, grain, vegetable, fruit and even nuts. They were, and remain, an economical way to turn left-overs into a tasty new dish.
Croquettes were were either made by hand shaping the meat mixture into a cone or flat cake or shaped in a croquette mold. They were then dipped in egg, rolled in crumbs, and fried brown. “The ideal croquette should be soft and creamy inside when served, and yet keep its shape, and be crisp and brown outside . . .The derivation of the word croquette hints at something crisp or crackling.” Molds were first buttered then sprinkled with crumbs for the first croquette then subsequently sprinkled with crumbs before molding the remaining mixture.
“MYSTERY” CROQUETTES. “Mrs. Owens’ New Cook Book”. [This is an excellent recipe which can be used to make any sort of croquette.] Take any bits of cold fish, flesh, or fowl, any or all, chop fine with 2 hard boiled eggs and ½ cup cold potatoes. To a pint of the mixture add a raw egg, a scant tablespoon flour and a teaspoon of melted butter. Form into croquettes; dip in egg and sifted crumbs and fry in hot fat.
CHICKEN CROQUETTES. “Southern Cooking”. 1912. For Chicken Croquettes. To make one dozen croquettes. Select three and one half pounds of chicken and boil well done, take the meat and chop very fine, use one pint of flour, 2 raw eggs, parsley, salt and pepper. [Shape into patties and fry in butter.]
TURKEY CROQUETTES SEASONED WITH POTATO AND EGGS. “Palatable Dishes”. 1891. Cut the meat from one turkey, removing all fat, skin, gristle, and bones. Mash about eight cold boiled potatoes. Chop finely six hard-boiled eggs. Mix these ingredients well together; add a gill of white wine, salt and pepper to taste. Make into croquettes, and brown them nicely in butter, serving them very hot.
CROQUETTES OF CRABS. “Palatable Dishes”. 1891. One pint of solid meat. After the crabs are boiled and the meat is picked out, measure it. Put in a double saucepan, half a pint of cream. Rub to a cream one heaping tablespoonful of butter and three heaping tablespoonfuls of sifted flour, then stir this into the hot cream gradually; stir rapidly until you have a thick, smooth paste. Now add the beaten yolks of two eggs; take from the fire, then add one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, half a teaspoonful of onion juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, one even teaspoonful of salt, and two hard-boiled eggs chopped very fine; mix thoroughly. Now add the crab meat and set aside to cool; then form into little cones or pyramids, dip in egg and fine bread-crumbs. Fry a rich brown in boiling hot fat, garnish with parsley or water-cress. Serve hot with cream sauce. Hard-shell crabs are the best for croquettes; it will take one dozen to make a pint of meat.
SAUSAGE CROQUETTES. “Palatable Dishes”. Take one pound of nicely seasoned sausage meat, two raw potatoes grated fine, half a cupful of grated bread-crumbs, one egg beaten light, one tablespoonful of chopped parsley or celery, three tablespoonfuls of milk, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix all well together. Make into little patties or rolls; fry in the spider [skillet] in a little half butter and lard. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.
SALMON CROQUETTES: “Mrs. Owens’ New Cook Book”. 1897. One can salmon, an equal quantity of mashed potatoes. Make into little cakes, roll in white of egg and rolled cracker and fry.
SALMON CROQUETTES: “Mrs. Owens”. #2: One cup picked up salmon, ½ cup mashed potatoes and ½ cup bread crumbs. Heat a cup of milk to boiling and stir into it 1 tablespoon butter made smooth with 2 tablespoons flour. Add to this 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, the salmon, potato, and bread crumbs. Season palatably with pepper and salt and pour into a buttered platter to cool. Form into shapes, dip in egg and crumbs and fry in hot fat until brown.
GREEN [FRESH] CORN CROQUETTES. “Mrs. Owens”. 1 quart young, tender, grated green corn, 1 cup sifted flour, 1 cup sweet milk, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 eggs, 1 saltspoon salt [to taste], and same of pepper. Grate the corn [cut from the cob] as fine as possible, and mix with the flour, pepper and salt. Warm the milk and melt the butter in it. Add the corn, stir hard, and let cool. Then stir the eggs beaten very light, the whites added last. Work into small oval balls, and fry in hot fat. Drain and serve hot.
SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES. “Palatable Dishes”. When boiled and mashed, take one pint and a half of the potato, mash them smooth, and beat into them three-quarters of a cupful of hot milk, one teaspoonful of salt, and three heaping gablespoonfuls of butter. Beat two eggs light and add them to the mixture, beating in thoroughly. Now form into croquettes. Dip into egg, then bread-crumbs, and fry in hot fat until a rich brown. Serve immediately.
POTATO CROQUETTES. Season cold mashed potato with pepper, salt, and nutmeg. Beat to a cream with a tablespoon of melted butter to every cup of potato. Bind with 2 beaten eggs, and add 1 teaspoon minced parsley. Roll into oval balls, dip in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs, and fry.
HOMINY CROQUETTES. “Housekeeper’s and Mothers’ Manual”. 1895. Soften a cupful of cold, boiled hominy or hominy grits, with a cupful of sweet milk and a well beaten egg. Mix thoroughly and season with salt and butter and a dash of pepper. Form into croquettes, dip in beaten egg and cracker dust and fry in boiling lard.
CHEESE CROQUETTES. “The Warren Cook Book.” 1920. 2 cups grated cheese, 1 cup fine bread crumbs, salt and cayenne to taste; form into small balls; dip into beaten eggs and fine cracker crumbs; fry in boiling fat; serve with salads.
HAM CROQUETTES. “How We Cook in Tennessee”. 1906. Run cold boiled ham through meat chopper, also one hard boiled egg. To every cup of ground meat put one cup rolled bread crumbs and one hard boiled egg. Add pepper and nutmeg to taste. When ready to use, wet up with sweet cream, make out in croquettes and fry.
BRAIN CROQUETTES. “How We Cook in Tennessee”. Two sets hog brains, two eggs, cracker crumbs. Parboil the brains, allow them to cool, chop fine, beating in the eggs and a few crumbs with salt and pepper to taste. Make into shapes, roll in crumbs and fry in hot lard.