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Ybor City Crab Croquettes

Yield 3 dozen

Ingredients

  • Croquette Dough
  • 3 small onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped hot red pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound claw crab meat, drained and flaked
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Additional vegetable oil

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Croquette Dough. Refrigerate 2 hours.

  2. Sauté onion, garlic, green pepper, and red pepper in 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet 15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and sugar. Cover and simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Add crab meat; cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Remove and discard bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

  3. Shape Croquette Dough into 36 two-inch balls. Press each ball into a 4-inch circle. Place 1 tablespoon chilled crab meat mixture in center of each circle. Fold dough around crab meat mixture to form boat-shaped croquette, sealing edges.

  4. Combine eggs, milk, remaining salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl; beat well.

  5. Combine cracker crumbs and flour in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Dip each croquette in egg mixture; dredge in cracker crumb mixture. Repeat dipping and dredging procedure to heavily coat croquettes. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

  6. Fry croquettes, a few at a time, in deep hot oil (375°) until golden brown. Drain well. Serve hot.

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