Ybor City Crab Croquettes
- 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
- Prepare Croquette Dough. Refrigerate 2 hours.
- 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.
- 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.
- Combine eggs, milk, remaining salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl; beat well.
- 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.
- Fry croquettes, a few at a time, in deep hot oil (375°) until golden brown. Drain well. Serve hot.
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