“Crocketas” as my Mom used to call them were Crab Croquettes a mainstay during the Lenten season when I was growing up. Mom’s croquettes were made of either fish flakes or on special days, crab meat. Lenten Fridays, 6 weeks in a year were fastidiously observed in our home and non-negotiable as far as my strict parents were concerned. We fasted. We abstained. Yes, there was hunger felt in between meals on Fridays. I can’t forget how I used to look forward to the evening meals after a day of “fasting” and sparse meals meant to be acts of sacrifice as dictated by our faith.
During a recent trip to my old home country, the Philippines, I enjoyed fresh crab meat cooked in different ways. When I got back to here to my home in America, it was nearly Lent and I was inspired to cook Mom’s old recipe of “crocketas”, her version of crab cakes.
The process was easy. These days, flaked crab meat is easy to buy. I made sure to saute the meat in butter, lemon, onions and celery. Then I wrapped the crab flakes mix in homemade mashed potatoes.And quickly rolled them in oval shapes. Finally, dipped them in egg and bread crumbs before pan-frying. Once pan seared for a few minutes, the amazing aromas of crabs, melted butter, onions and mashed potatoes all rolled into one sent our senses soaring with hunger. After having a couple of crab croquettes, we were ready to give up meat even after Lent.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter melted (unsalted)
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 1 whole egg
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 to 2 cups flaked boiled crab meat (use fresh or canned)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Lea and Perrins
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating croquettes
- 1 whole egg for coating croquettes
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs for coating croquettes
- for serving: boiled rice
- In a large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and butter to melt.
- Saute quickly the onions, celery and crab meat.
- Remove this mixture from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, heavy cream, flour, lemon juice, seasonings. Blend well.
- Add the mashed potatoes and incorporate the crab meat well. Shape into 2-inch length oblong shapes.
- Roll and coat each of the oval crab croquettes in separate bowls of : Flour, egg and bread crumbs.
- Pan fry the crab croquettes in a large non-stick frying pan with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Do not flip them more than once or they might break. Cook for about 8-10 minutes till crab croquettes turn medium brown.
- Serve warm with a crisp green salad and boiled jasmine white rice.
- Cook's Comments: if crab meat is not available, substitute with cooked flaked fish and follow the same procedure.
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Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.