Cheese Nuggets

These crispy and spicy snacks would be great with a cold glass of beer.

Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Cheese Nuggets

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    Ingredients

    6 tbsp butter 1 tbsp olive oil
    1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting 1 fresh hot red chile, seeded and chopped
    1 1/2 cups milk 1 garlic clove, crushed
    2 large eggs, beaten, plus 3 large egg yolks one 14.5 oz (411 g) can chopped tomatoes
    2 cups grated Emmental or Swiss cheese 1 tsp sugar
    salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup heavy cream
    pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 2/3 cup oil
    1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

    directions

    Prep: 45 min Total: 60 min
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    • 1

      To prepare the nuggets, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook without browning for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, increase the heat to medium, and bring to a boil, whisking often, until smooth and thick. Return the heat to low and simmer gently, whisking often, for 5 minutes.

    • 2

      Remove the saucepan from the heat and beat in the egg yolks, one at a time. Sir in the cheese, then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Spread out the mixture in a shallow rectangular dish in a layer about 3/4 in (2cm) deep, smoothing the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

    • 3

      Cut the mixture into pieces about 3/4 × 2in (2 × 5cm), then shape into nuggets. Roll in flour, dip in beaten egg, then roll in the bread crumbs until coated. Chill on wax paper for 1 hour.

    • 4

      To make the dip, heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the red pepper, chile, and garlic and cook, stirring often, about 4 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes and sugar, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in a blender, then add the cream.

    • 5

      Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over high heat until shimmering. In batches, fry the nuggets, turning often, about 3 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Serve hot or warm, with the dip.

    notes

    The cheese mixture (without breading) and dip can be made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

    To  make Herbed Cheese Nuggets variation: Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, chives, and/or thyme with the cheese. Substitute Gruyere or sharp Cheddar for the Emmental, if you wish.

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