|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
These cheese fritters with guava dipping sauce are a delicious variation on the traditional fruit and cheese pairing, and are quite the crowd-pleasing appetizer. The cheese fritters can be shaped ahead of time and chilled in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry them. Once they have been fried, the fritters can be kept warm in the oven until ready to serve. Good optional add-ins include crumbled bacon, blue or manchego cheese, and finely chopped olives.
- For the Cheese Fritters:
- 14 ounces goat cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 green onions
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 1/2 cups fine breadcrumbs
- 1 quart vegetable oil (for frying; use more or less as needed)
- For the Guava Dipping Sauce:
- 1/3 cup guava paste
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup mango or pineapple juice (fresh or canned)
- Optional: crumbled cooked bacon, crumbled blue cheese, grated manchego cheese, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped green or black olives
Prepare the dipping sauce: Place the guava paste in a small saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients (vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and juice) and whisk together over low heat until the guava paste has completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the cheese fritters: coarsely chop the green onions and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times for a few seconds each time, until the onions are more finely chopped. Add the goat cheese, the softened cream cheese, and the ricotta cheese to the food processor bowl. Add 2 eggs and the flour and process the mixture until it is well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste, and pulse to mix. If desired, add one or more optional ingredients to the cheese mixture at this point, such as crumbled cooked bacon, crumbled blue cheese, grated manchego cheese, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped olives, etc.
Chill the cheese mixture for at least an hour.
Once the cheese mixture is cold, shape the mixture into 1-inch diameter balls. Roll each ball in the breadcrumbs and thoroughly coat the cheese with the crumbs. Place the cheese balls on a baking sheet and keep them chilled until you are ready to fry them.
Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or saucepan to 350 F. Fry the cheese balls, in batches, until they are very golden brown. Carefully remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve cheese fritters warm, with the dipping sauce. If you are not going to serve the fried fritters right away, keep them warm in a 200 F oven until ready to serve.