What happens when you merge creamy ricotta with smoky Gouda, then fry it to perfection? These Crunchy Cheese Fritters, that’s what!
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 oz smoked Gouda, cut into 20 bits
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
- flour, as needed
- bread crumbs, as needed – homemade, Italian style or Panko all work!
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- Put the ricotta cheese in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out any moisture. Dump the cheese into a bowl. Season with a healthy pinch of kosher salt and a few cracks of your trusty pepper mill. Mix in 2 eggs and the Parmesan cheese. When that is combined, stir in the flour. You can pop this in the fridge for an hour, or keep on going!
- Make a ball about the size of a walnut out of the ricotta mixture. You are going to end up with 20 balls, so you can divide the dough in 4 and then each portion in 5, if it is easier to imagine the right size. Put a Gouda bit in the middle of your ricotta ball. It does not have to be perfectly round, just so long as the Gouda is covered. Put the ball on a tray and make all 20 of the balls. You can pop them in the freezer for 30, or keep going!
- Set up a breading station. The first bowl on the left should have flour. The middle bowl is 2 eggs beaten with the water. The right bowl has breadcrumbs. Put your tray of ricotta balls on the left (by the flour) and a clean tray on the right (by the breadcrumbs). Get a deep, heavy sauce pan and put 1 inch of vegetable oil in it. Set the pot over a low flame so the oil can start to heat while you bread.
- One at a time, roll each cheese ball in flour, egg wash and then bread crumbs. Give the ball a little squeeze to make sure the bread crumbs stick. Bread all of the balls. Raise the heat on the oil to medium, you want the oil to be 350*
- Fry those cheese balls! Place 1 ball at a time onto a slotted metal spoon and gently lower into the oil. The oil should come up about half way each ball. Don’t crowd the pan or the temperature will drop too much. My pan holds 10 at a time, but yours might only hold 5. Fry for about 2 minutes, flipping the cheese balls around so they are evenly browned.
- Drain the cheese balls on a rack or brown paper bag. Eat while hot, preferably with a glass of Prosecco! You can keep them warm in the oven until your friends get to the party.
* The cheese balls freeze well before being breaded, after being breaded, or after frying. They are great to keep stashed in the freezer for last minute guests or when you want a high-calorie, low effort dinner!
*Make them yours – replace the Gouda with a fresh mozzarella pearl or a chunk of pepper jack! Add some lemon zest or fresh parsley to the ricotta!