Fried Goat Cheese Bites with Honey

by Monica Bennion on March 19, 2012

A fun and fresh appetizer to pair with our light and delicate Rosé of Grenache.

INGREDIENTS
10 oz. log of fresh goat cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup club soda
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
Salt
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), lightly crushed
Canola oil for frying
Honey, to drizzle
Chopped, roasted pistachios and freshly ground pepper for serving

DIRECTIONS
1) Cut the goat cheese log into 16 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.  Refrigerate the balls on a wax paper-lined baking sheet until firm, about 10 minutes.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and club soda.  Gradually whisk in the flour and cornstarch and season with salt.  Spread the panko in a shallow bowl.  Dip the cheese balls in the egg batter and dredge in the panko.  Coat the bites again in the batter and panko.  Return them to the baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

3) In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of canola oil to 375°.  Working in batches, fry the cheese bites over high heat, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the balls to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.  Transfer the cheese bites to a platter, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pistachios and pepper.  Serve hot.

Courtesy of Food & Wine, Contributed by Victoria Moore

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