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Course: hors d'oeuvre, hot appetizer
Total time: a day or more
Skill level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate
Yield: 4 servings
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Notes

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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 ¾ in (2cm) deep, smoothing the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

3. 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.

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. Purèe 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.

Variation

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.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

1102kcal (55%)
722mg (72%)
48mg (80%)
544mcg RAE (18%)
606mg
68mg
27g
15g
3g
46g
256mg (85%)
824mg (34%)
61g (307%)
92g (142%)
3mg (19%)