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Fried Goat Cheese Coins

The perfect accompaniment to any salad any time of year.


Pears and apples are the ideal accompaniment in the fall and winter, but come summer berries of any kind are ideal.

Fried goat cheese coins (or crotins, as they are called in French) are such a decadent addition to any salad that it might come as a surprise that they are actually quite simple to make. Using fresh breadcrumbs from store-bought or homemade challah takes the whole thing to the next level, but boxed panko works just as well. Whether you panfry or air-fry the coins, the secret to the success of this dish is slicing the goat cheese into coins using dental floss, and then freezing the slices so that they hold their shape as they brown. The result is perfectly melted and luscious cheese in a crispy crumb coating...all thanks to technique, not torture!

Equipment: cutting board; dental floss; dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; mixing bowls; fork; (3) wide shallow bowls; sauté pan or air fryer; tongs or an offset spatula; small platter; paper towels


Almost any spinach salad combination goes will with fried goat cheese. Pictured clockwise: roasted peppers and tomatoes, pomegranate and pecan; apple and sesame cashew; pear and pepitas

Fried Goat Cheese Ingredients:

1, 8-oz log of goat cheese

¼ cup flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko

vegetable oil for frying


Salad Ingredients:

1, 10-ounce clamshell baby spinach

¼ cup olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup balsamic reduction

Optional Garnish Ingredients:

2 ripe pears, quartered and sliced

2 apples, quartered and sliced

2 bell peppers, roasted and sliced

½ cup pomegranate arils

½ cup chopped toasted pecans ½ cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

½ cup sesame cashews

½ cup diced tomatoes

"You can make this recipe panfried in shallow oil on the stovetop, or cooked in an air fryer."

IF PAN FRYING:

1. Using dental floss, slice the goat cheese log into eighths, making a total of (8) "coins." Place them on a dish and place in the freezer for 20-60 minutes.



ILOC tip: using dental floss makes for clean and easy slicing. You can use a paring knife but some of the cheese will stick to the knife.
ILOC tip: placing the coins in the freezer is important not only to bread them easily, but to keep them from melting and losing their shape as the crumb coating browns.

2. Add the flour to a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. Then beat the egg with a fork in a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. Put the breadcrumbs in a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. From left to right, line up the flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs, respectively.


Breading is very procedural. It can be a messy proposition if you don’t follow the ILOC way: wet hand, dry hand! In this recipe the 'wet hand' is the use of a fork.

3. Remove the goat cheese coins from the freezer (they should be firm discs). Dredge one coin in the flour and shake off excess. Then dip the coated goat cheese into the beaten egg, using a fork, then lift directly into the breadcrumbs. With a dry hand, toss well to coat and set aside. Repeat with the remaining goat cheese coins.



4. Heat a shallow film (¼-inch) of vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat until the surface begins to shimmer. Place the goat cheese coins in the oil without crowding (frying batches if necessary). Fry on one side for 1-2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Turn each coin carefully with tongs or an offset spatula in the order in which they entered the pan, and fry for another 1-2 minutes.



5. Remove the goat cheese coins to a platter or cutting board lined with paper towels to drain the fat. Serve immediately or set aside and warm later.


ILOC tip: the goat cheese coins can be warmed in a 400°F oven in a single layer on a sheet pan for 2 minutes.

IF AIR-FRYING:

1. Using dental floss, slice the goat cheese log into eighths, making a total of 8 "coins." Place them on a dish and place in the freezer for 20-60 minutes.



ILOC tip: using dental floss makes for clean and easy slicing. You can use a paring knife but some of the cheese will stick to the knife.
ILOC tip: placing the coins in the freezer is important not only to bread them easily, but to keep them from melting and losing their shape as the crumb coating browns.

2. Add the flour to a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. Then beat the egg with a fork in a wide, shallow bowl and set aside. Put the breadcrumbs in a wide, shallow bowl, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, mix well to combine, and set aside. From left to right, line up the flour, egg mixture, and greased breadcrumbs, respectively.


Breading is very procedural. It can be a messy proposition if you don’t follow the ILOC way: wet hand, dry hand! In this recipe the 'wet hand' is the use of a fork.

3. Remove the goat cheese coins from the freezer (they should be firm discs). Dredge one coin in the flour and shake off excess. Then dip the coated goat cheese into the beaten egg, using a fork, then lift directly into the greased breadcrumbs. With a dry hand, toss well to coat and set aside. Repeat with the remaining goat cheese coins.



4. Place the goat cheese coins in the basket of an air fryer. Fry at 375°F for 6-8 minutes, until the crumb coating is golden brown.


5. Remove the goat cheese coins to a platter or cutting board lined with paper towels to drain the fat. Serve immediately or set aside and warm later.


ILOC tip: the goat cheese coins can be warmed in the air fryer or in a 400°F oven in a single layer on a sheet pan for 2 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.



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