These croquettes from chef Carmen González were inspired by almojábanas, Puerto Rican fritters made with rice flour and mild white cheese. “My Auntie Nega made the best almojábanas I ever tasted,” González says. “As kids we would fight over them.” Like her aunt’s, González’s fritters are crisp on the outside, melty on the inside.Slideshow:Fantastic Fried Foods
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
4 ounces Manchego cheese, shredded
Canola oil, for frying
Hot sauce, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and eggs. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with the butter and the 1 teaspoon of salt. Remove from the heat and gradually stir the warm milk into the flour mixture until smooth.
Wipe out the saucepan. Scrape the batter into the pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until the batter starts to pull away from the side of the pan, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese; let cool.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Scoop level tablespoons of the batter onto the baking sheet and roll them into balls. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
In a saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Working in batches, fry the cheese balls until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes. Drain the fritters on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm, with hot sauce.
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