Inspired by her visit to Stephen's Deli in Hialeah, chef Jami Erriquez shares her recipe for a Reuben croqueta - a classic Jewish dish married with a croqueta.
stephens deli in hialeah inspired this reuben croqueta recipe
The croquetas at Stephen’s Deli (now Kush by Stephens) inspired this author. Photo: Kush by Stephens

Have you ever wondered what could happen if you took a classic Jewish deli sandwich and a classic Cuban croqueta and married them together?  I found out during my most recent trip to Miami, visiting all of my favorite eateries with one of my favorite humans, Carmen. It was there that we discovered the Reuben croqueta at Stephen’s Deli in Hialeah, Florida.

We both were immediately blown away by the menu description alone. Then, once we tried these crispy rye-flavored salty corned beef and sauerkraut-filled croquetas we were addicted. (Editors Note: Love. The answer to the question above is love. Love happens when the Reuben meets the croqueta. Read on…)

croquetas at Vicky Bakery
Croquetas lined up to be served at Vicky Bakery. Photo: Startup Cuba

Croquetas have a very special place in Carmen’s heart. I mean she is Cuban after all,  but her grandmother Maria made the best jamon croquetas. The recipe her grandmother used came from Nitza Villapol’s cookbook Cocina Criolla. If you haven’t heard of Nitza, she is the Julia Child of Cuban cuisine. 

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After we filled our bellies with most of the Stephen’s Deli menu, we went our separate ways and I had to make my way back to the Northeast, with one thing on my mind, those Reuben croquetas!

After some Google searches and hours of YouTube, my very own Reuben croqueta was born. Here’s to your enjoyment!

As soon as I had a free day, I went to work trying to perfect those Reuben croquetas. After some Google searches and hours of YouTube, my very own Reuben croqueta was born. Here’s to your enjoyment!

a reuben croqueta at stephens deli in hialeah inspired this recipe
A Croqueta at Stephen’s Deli. Photo: Kush by Stephens

Related Post: Chef Jami Wants You To Make Her Pulpeta (Cuban Meatloaf) Recipe

Reuben Croqueta Recipe

Ingredients

  • ⅕ lbs. deli corned beef chopped fine
  • 1 cup drained sauerkraut 
  • 2 cups grated swiss cheese
  • 2 cups rye bread crumbs
  • 2 cups all-purpose  flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Russian dressing
  • Oil for frying

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Preparation

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add corned beef, sauerkraut,  shredded cheese, 2 tablespoons rye bread crumbs. Season with Kosher salt &  black pepper.  
  2.  Form the mixture in balls.  About the size of golf balls. Place on a lined baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. 
  3. Next, set up a breading station.  Flour, eggs, and rye bread crumb. Add the frozen balls to the flour, eggs, and bread crumb.  Repeat the process ( double breaded). 
  4. After all the croquetas have been breaded, freeze for another 30 minutes. 
  5. In the meantime, heat oil in a heavy button pot or in a fryer. Heat oil to 350 F. 
  6. Fry the balls in batches until golden brown. Drain and sprinkle with kosher salt. 
  7. Finally, plate and enjoy the croquetas dipped into Russian dressing. 

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Jami Erriquez is a part-time chef, food stylist, and an avid cookbook collector from South Florida. She studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Georgia. Her love for cooking came from her father, Danny. She is a traveler, a yogi, and a beach bum, and has been eating Cuban sandwiches and listening to Celia Cruz since she was seven!. When Jami isn't in the kitchen she is binge-watching Golden Girls and hanging out with her family and pet cat, Irma.

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