cheese balls f/k/a cheese fritters

October 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

as far as i’m concerned, people born and raised in wisconsin are entitled to a certain amount of special dispensation when it comes to the things they’re drawn to. (and no, i am not excusing the whole scott walker thing. no one is entitled to leeway there. that is just dumb.)

i am, of course, talking about cheese. fried cheese balls, to be more specific.

my name is brigid. i am from wisconsin. and i love fried cheese balls.

in the unfortunate event that you are not also from wisconsin, you can feel free to blame this one on me.

the stuff:
1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta (part-skim will work, too, if the grocer is inexplicably out of whole milk)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups panko
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
vegetable oil, for frying

the how-to:
mix the ricotta, mozz, salt and pepper in a bowl. you may as well use your hands, since they’re about to get extremely messy, anyway.
grab three cereal-sized bowls. Place the flour in one, the eggs (beaten) in another, and the panko in the third.

rolling the cheese in your hand, form balls approximately 1.5in. in diameter. dip each ball in your cereal bowls in the following order: (1) flour (2) egg (3) panko, and set each completed ball on a plate.

in the interim, heat 2-3 in. of oil in a small frying pan over med-high heat (you can use a big frying pan if you want, but it would be a terrifically big waste of oil). give the oil a few minutes to heat up (you can check it by VERY CAREFULLY flicking some water into the oil from your hands– it’s ready when it sizzles and bubbles. It will also not hesitate to burn the heck out of your skin so NO HORSING AROUND. i hope it goes without saying that the frying part is definitely a grownups-only activity).

fry the balls in batches of 3-4 until golden (1-3 minutes depending on the heat of your oil). oh-so-carefully remove the balls from the oil with a slotted spoon, and place on a paper-towel lined plate. it will be tempting to dive right in, but this presents a good opportunity for you to flex your self-restraint muscle while simultaneously ensuring that you don’t burn off all of your tastebuds for the rest of eternity.

you probably also want to consider a dipping sauce. the source recipe (faithfully followed above) calls for a basalmic sun-dried tomato dipping sauce. that would no doubt be delicious. but, since my dinner was vaguely scandinavian-themed, i opted for a lingonberry-basalmic dipping sauce. and it was yummy. more importantly, it was easy. it went like this: mix 3T preserved lingonberries (near the fancy jams or canned/preserved fruit if that’s a different section of your grocery store, as it is mine) and 1T good basalmic vinegar. the end. see? easy peasy.

honest, though? they’re fried balls of cheese. i think you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a dipping sauce that would mess that up.

source recipe: http://www.evilchefmom.com/2010/07/cheese-fritters-with-balsamic-sun-dried.html (via pinterest)

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