I like cheese. I like cheese a whole, whole lot. I like pretty much any type of cheese – everything from deliciously nutty parmigiano reggiano, that sets me back $25 a pound, to the highly processed and delightfully orange brick of Velveeta, that has a shelf life longer than most house pets. I will eat cheese by itself, on a sandwich, melted over pasta, in a salad, in a dip, or in any other incarnation you can dream of. Because of this undying love for all things cheese, I am always excited when I find a new way to present and serve it. Last week, I was brainstorming what I might make for my dad’s belated Father’s Day dinner, and the idea of goat cheese fritters popped into my head… a quick spin around the internet helped me finalize the ideas floating around in my head, and I was off!
You’re going to want to make these real, real soon. You won’t regret it, I swear.
Goat Cheese Fritters
makes about twenty 1.5″ fritters
8 oz soft goat cheese, chilled
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
olive oil, for pan-frying
1.) Start by making your goat cheese disks. Grab a small amount of cheese, and roll it between your palms until it forms a ball the size of a large marble. Then, gently flatten the ball between your hands to form a disk about 1.5″ across (if the cheese starts to crumble and fall apart, go back to rolling it between your palms for another few seconds – the heat of your hands will warm the cheese up a bit, and help it hold together when you flatten the ball).
2.) Continue rolling/flattening goat cheese balls until you’ve used all your cheese, setting them aside on a plate as you go. When you’ve used all the cheese, cover the plate with plastic wrap and pop the goat cheese disks into the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or as long as overnight).
3.) While your cheese chills, set up your breading station: one shallow bowl holds the flour, the next holds the beaten eggs, and the final bowl holds the panko, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper (mixed until evenly combined).
4.) Once your goat cheese is chilled, you’re ready to bread and fry! Place a large skillet over medium heat on your stovetop, and put enough oil in the pan to evenly cover the bottom with about 1/8″ of oil. While your oil heats, bread your chilled goat cheese disks: first dredge them in flour, then coat them in egg, then coat them in the panko mixture (always tapping off excess in between steps). Set the breaded disks aside, as you continue to bread.
5.) When your oil is hot, start placing the goat cheese disks into the pan; you want to hear a good sizzle when you place them in the pan. If you don’t hear enough sizzle, give the oil another minute or two to heat up. If there is crazy bubbling and sizzling, turn your heat back a bit before adding more goat cheese. Be careful to give the fritters a little room on all sides – you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. I did two batches of 10 fritters, in a 12″ skillet.
6.) After 2-3 minutes, the fritters should be golden brown on the first side. Carefully flip them all over, and allow to fry for another 2 minutes or so, until the second side is golden brown. As they finish frying, remove them to a plate lined with paper towel. Continue frying in batches until all the fritters are done.
When used to top a really simple salad (a platter with baby romaine, tossed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette), they make a killer presentation. They could also be served on their own, as an appetizer (perhaps with some spicy marinara sauce, for dipping), or as a little composed bite on a toothpick (I am already planning to use them this way for an upcoming party – a goat cheese fritter, a few sweet pickled red onions, and a small piece of crispy bacon to top it off). By the end of our meal on Saturday, people were stealing the extra goat cheese fritters off the salad to snack on – they’re that good.
I never met a cheese I didn’t like,