Goat Cheese Croquettes
Jer-ne at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, CA
Troy Thompson served these crispy goat cheese “tots” as an hors d’oeuvre at the Beard House. The simple technique lends itself to experimentation. Try using herbed goat cheese (delicious served with tomato sauce) or stuffing a dab of pesto in the center of each cheese ball. The croquettes should be served warm, but not so hot that your guests burn their mouths.
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- Peanut or vegetable oil for frying
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 cup pecan oil
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
To prepare the croquettes, divide the goat cheese into 8 equal portions. Use your hands to roll each portion into a ball about 3/4 inch in diameter. Using a fork, toss one ball in the flour, coat with the beaten egg, and roll in panko until evenly coated. Set aside on a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining cheese. Chill.
Meanwhile, place the pecan halves on a cookie sheet, set in the oven, and roast to a dark brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a blender while still hot. Add the honey and pecan oil and blend on high speed to purée the nuts. The sauce should emulsify and become the consistency of a thick syrup. Set aside.
Heat about 3/4 inch of peanut or vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Gently drop in the chilled cheese croquettes. Fry until golden brown on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Spoon the pecan sauce on a serving plate and arrange the warm croquettes on top.
8 hors d’oeuvre, enough for 2 or 3 people