These crispy and spicy snacks would be great with a cold glass of beer. Good with pre-dinner drinks or as part of a buffet.
The cheese mixture (without breading) and dip can made 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
The nuggets can be frozen, cooked or uncooked, for up to 3 months.
Preparation Time45 min
Total Timea day or more
OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together
Recipe CourseHors D'oeuvre, Hot Appetizer
Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian
Taste and TextureCheesy, Crisp, Hot & Spicy
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2½ cups milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten, plus 3 large egg yolks
- 2 cups grated Emmental or Swiss cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2/3 cup oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 fresh hot red chile, seeded and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- One 14.5 oz (411g) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
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.
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 ¾ in (2cm) deep, smoothing the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
Cut the mixture into pieces about ¾ × 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.
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. Purèe in a blender, then add the cream.
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.
Herbed Cheese Nuggets: Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, chives, and/or thyme with the cheese. Substitute Gruyére or sharp Cheddar for the Emmental, if you wish.
2008 Dorling Kindersley