Thursday, July 11, 2013

Savory Cheese-Puff Donuts

These appetizer donuts are really easy but there's kind of a short window of time to eat them in. They are screaming hot when they are just done, but they're not quite as exciting (though still tasty) when they've gone completely cold. My friend Trish has this great vintage warming plate thing that would be great to serve these on, but I don't know anyone else who has one of those, so just eat them within 20 minutes of making them.

1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar 
1 teaspoon dried summer savory (or dried mint or parsley if you don't have savory)
-1 small block of really sharp or strong flavored cheese, cut into about 1/2 inch cubes. I had sharp Irish Cheddar. Blue cheese would be good too, if it is a kind that isn't too moist and crumbly.

-Enough corn oil, plus a splash of olive oil for deep frying

-a small jar of pepper jelly, just heated through until it's syrupy 

Mix the first nine ingredients in a bowl and then cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and leave the batter on the counter to rise for one hour.

Heat the corn oil in your deep fryer or small pot until the oil is around 360 degrees, (or just wing it). When the oil is hot, take several cubes of the cheese at a time and drop them on top of the batter. Using a tablespoon, very gently cover each cube with a bit of the gooey, stretchy batter. Scoop the individual cubes out, now covered in dough, by the spoonful and drop into the hot oil. They will puff up right away, and then you fry them for a few minutes per side until they are a deep golden brown. To be honest, the ones int he picture are a tiny bit under-done but I was impatient and hungry.

 Let them drain on a paper towel for a minute or two, salting and peppering them like you do with other fried foods. When all of your cheese is used up you can still make cheese-less donuts if there is leftover dough, or just toss it out, it's not like flour is that expensive.

Serve the donuts right away, drizzled or coated with the warm pepper jelly. You could also use warm honey with chopped jalapenos in it, or you could use a syrupy balsamic vinegar reduction.