Fried Gorgonzola Bites
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN plus 3 hr chilling
- SERVINGS: makes about 5 dozen bite-size croquettes
The young Catalan genius Sergi Arola earned two Michelin stars for his serious Madrid restaurant, La Broche. Arola, his place at Barcelona's Hotel Arts, is a different kind of experienceit's a party scene, with a DJ in the evenings, a master Argentinean mixologist and a selection of innovative tapas. The best are the Croquetas de Queso Gorgonzolalight, golden cube-shaped croquettes with a warm, silky Gorgonzola cheese center.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 pound Gorgonzola dolce, cut into small pieces
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups dry bread crumbs
- About 1 quart pure olive oil, for frying
- Line an 8-inch square baking dish with plastic wrap and spray with vegetable-oil spray. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add 3/4 cup of the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk and cook over moderately high heat, whisking constantly until thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the Gorgonzola until completely melted, about 2 minutes. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into the lined baking dish. Smooth the top and coat lightly with vegetable-oil spray. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the mixture and freeze until firm but still soft enough to cut, about 3 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Spoon the remaining 1 cup of flour into a shallow bowl. Put the beaten eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Invert the set cheese mixture onto a cutting board and remove the plastic wrap. Using a floured knife, cut the chilled cheese mixture into 1-inch cubes, wiping the blade between slices. Working with 5 or 6 pieces at a time and keeping the rest refrigerated, dredge the cubes in flour, then in the egg and bread crumbs. Transfer the croquettes to the baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Pour 1 1/2 inches of oil into a medium saucepan and heat to 365°. Add 4 or 5 croquettes to the hot oil and fry until golden and crisp, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the croquettes to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining croquettes. Serve right away.