Fried Bocconcini with Spicy Tomato and Garlic Chutney
Chutney8 cloves garlic, peeled1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped1/4 teaspoon kosher salt1/2 cup red wine vinegar1/4 cup sugar2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 teaspoon ground cumin1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoesFried Bocconcini16 (1-inch diameter) balls bocconcini mozzarella cheese2 cups all-purpose flour3 large eggs3 cups seasoned Italian-style bread crumbs4 cups vegetable or peanut oil, for fryingTo make the chutney: Combine the garlic, ginger, salt, red wine vinegar, sugar, olive oil, cumin and cayenne pepper in your blender. Blend until smooth and well combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan along with the tomatoes (and their juices). Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick, about 45-55 minutes. Gently break up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon as the chutney cooks. Season the mixture to taste with salt. Allow the chutney to cool to room temperature before serving.To make the fried bocconcini: Drain the bocconcini well and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat the tops dry. Refrigerate (uncovered) for 2 hours to allow the bocconcini to dry completely. Preheat oven to 200 F. Place a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.Gather three wide, shallow bowls. Add the flour to the first, and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs together in the second bowl. Place the bread crumbs in the third bowl. Coat each ball of cheese with the flour, then dip in the eggs and roll in the bread crumbs until evenly coated. Dip the coated balls in the eggs and bread crumbs a second time. Repeat with all of the bocconcini. Freeze the breaded bocconcini for 10 minutes (don’t be tempted to leave them in there longer, or the mozzarella will still be cold after frying).Meanwhile, pour the oil to a depth of about 3 inches into a large saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 375 F on a deep-frying thermometer. Working with just a few bocconcini at a time, fry the balls until they are golden brown, about 20-30 seconds each. If the temperature of the oil drops, allow it to rise back to 375 F before frying additional balls. Transfer the balls to a paper towel-lined plate briefly then place them on the wire rack and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining cheese. Serve with the chutney.

Fried Bocconcini with Spicy Tomato and Garlic Chutney

Chutney
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes

Fried Bocconcini
16 (1-inch diameter) balls bocconcini mozzarella cheese
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
3 cups seasoned Italian-style bread crumbs
4 cups vegetable or peanut oil, for frying

To make the chutney: Combine the garlic, ginger, salt, red wine vinegar, sugar, olive oil, cumin and cayenne pepper in your blender. Blend until smooth and well combined. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan along with the tomatoes (and their juices). Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick, about 45-55 minutes. Gently break up the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon as the chutney cooks. Season the mixture to taste with salt. Allow the chutney to cool to room temperature before serving.

To make the fried bocconcini: Drain the bocconcini well and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat the tops dry. Refrigerate (uncovered) for 2 hours to allow the bocconcini to dry completely. 

Preheat oven to 200 F. Place a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Gather three wide, shallow bowls. Add the flour to the first, and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs together in the second bowl. Place the bread crumbs in the third bowl. Coat each ball of cheese with the flour, then dip in the eggs and roll in the bread crumbs until evenly coated. Dip the coated balls in the eggs and bread crumbs a second time. Repeat with all of the bocconcini. Freeze the breaded bocconcini for 10 minutes (don’t be tempted to leave them in there longer, or the mozzarella will still be cold after frying).

Meanwhile, pour the oil to a depth of about 3 inches into a large saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and heat the oil to 375 F on a deep-frying thermometer. Working with just a few bocconcini at a time, fry the balls until they are golden brown, about 20-30 seconds each. If the temperature of the oil drops, allow it to rise back to 375 F before frying additional balls. Transfer the balls to a paper towel-lined plate briefly then place them on the wire rack and keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining cheese. 

Serve with the chutney.


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