Fried Goat Cheese with Pistachio Dust, Pepper, and Vanilla Honey
These goat cheese balls have been on the menu for 15 years at Beau Owen's restaurant the Lazy Goat. Why are these little balls of goodness so appealing? “Their flavor profiles match so well together—the honey, the pistachios, and the goat cheese,” Owens says. “And let’s just be honest: anything that’s deep-fried is gonna be a little bit better than anything that’s not deep-fried.” Spoken like a true Southern chef.
Goat Cheese Balls
- 16 oz soft fresh goat cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup soda water
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) for dredging
- peanut oil or other oil for deep frying
- Vanilla bean-infused honey
- Black pepper freshly ground, very fine
- FInely chopped pistachios about 2 tablespoons per 19-20 balls
- Roll goat cheese into balls approximately half-inch in diameter.
- Prepare batter by whisking egg in a mixing bowl. Whisk in soda water. While continuously whisking, add flour and cornstarch, a little at a time. Mix thoroughly until a thin batter is formed. Pour panko into a separate bowl.
- Drop goat cheese balls into batter, then into panko. Chill breaded goat cheese balls in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before frying.
- When ready to fry, heat peanut oil in a deep-fat fryer or heavy pot to 350°F.Working in batches, drop goat cheese balls in oil and fry for 30 to 45 seconds, or until they are a very light golden brown. Pull balls out of fryer and let drain in fry basket or on paper towels. Spoon balls into a serving bowl. Drizzle with vanilla bean honey, and sprinkle with black pepper and chopped pistachios.