Be still my heart. I think I would eat these every day if I could.
This is the first of my trio of holiday appetizer recipes that I developed for Sam’s Club. It’s definitely my new favorite munchy type thing.
These h’ors d’oeuvres are really easy to throw together on the fly. Basically, you take slices of goat cheese, dip them in beaten egg, then coat them in seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then fry in a little olive oil until crispy.
The outside crust is unbelievably crunchy and flavorful. The inside cheese is warm, creamy, and really smooth. The combination makes for a killer app.
The best part? Because goat cheese is more of a dry, crumbly cheese, it won’t melt and ooze all over as it cooks. (Granted, it’s in and out of the pan in a flash…)
You could also serve it as more of a main dish (say, for brunch), over a salad with some good garlic bread and a glass of red wine.
Tips for slicing goat cheese
- To make the cheese a little easier to slice, pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes before cutting to firm it up.
- Use a sharp, non-serrated knife and wipe it down with a paper towel and warm water in between slices.
- Try cutting it cheese-shop style, with a piece of clean stainless steel wire—or unflavored dental floss.
This recipe is easy to scale
This is one of those recipes that’s easy to scale up or down, depending on how many people you’re feeding. Once you get the basic technique down, it’s simple.
Because this is holiday season, I included a recipe for a whole pound of goat cheese, so you can feed all your hungry friends.
If you wanted to get really fancy, you could also mold the cheese into different shapes before frying.
Crispy Fried Goat Cheese
16 oz. goat cheese log
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
pinch of kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of flour
Yields about 8 pieces of fried goat cheese, depending on how thick you cut the cheese
Chill your cheese
Grab your goat cheese. I used Laura Chenel goat cheese, which comes from Sonoma County. Pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm it up so it’s easier to slice.
Prep your dredging station
While your cheese is chilling, put together the stuff you need to bread the cheese. Grab your panko bread crumbs.
Panko are extra crispy Japanese bread crumbs, made from crustless white bread. You can find them at most major grocery stores these days. If you can’t find panko, you can order them online, or substitute regular breadcrumbs in a pinch.
Stir to combine well.
Crack the eggs in a bowl. (I made a big batch, hence the extra egg in my picture.) Beat to scramble them.
Line a sheet pan or plate with wax or parchment paper.
Put the flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl. By now, your counter should look something like this.
Slice & bread the cheese
Grab your cheese out of the freezer. Slice it into 1/4 – 1/2-inch pieces. Use a sharp knife.
Wipe the knife off with a warm, wet paper towel in between cuts.
Now, your slice may crumble a little. If it does, don’t fret. It’s cheese, after all: Just smoosh it into a rough round shape and keep going.
Put the cheese in the flour. Flip it gently to coat on both sides.
Drop the floured cheese into the beaten egg. Flip it gently to coat with egg on both sides.
Lastly, put it into the seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Flip it to coat on both sides.
Put it on your lined pan or plate.
Repeat with the rest of the cheese. You could do this maybe an hour ahead of time and keep them in the fridge.
Fry the cheese
(Sigh. Those words just make me happy…) Put a little olive oil in a nonstick pan. Use just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Set it on the stove over high heat. When the oil shimmers, you’re ready to fry.
Grab one of your slices of breaded goat cheese. It’s going to sound silly, but I pick them up like this. It helps keep the coating on, and helps keep them from falling apart when you lift them.
Set the cheese down gently in the hot oil. It should start to bubble around the edges immediately. Repeat with the rest of the cheese. Depending on the size of your pan and how many pieces you’re frying, you might need to fry in batches so you don’t crowd the pan. (A crowded pan means your food will almost steam, instead of fry, and you’ll wind up with soggy cheese….and nobody needs that.)
Keep an eye on your cheese…it cooks fast. When the cheese is brown on the bottom (this will happen very quickly), flip it over carefully with a spatula.
When it’s brown on the second side, remove the cheese from the pan, and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag lined plate. If you’re fying a lot of these little guys, you could try keeping them warm in a super low (like 150 degrees) oven, so the cheese doesn’t melt.
Serve and enjoy!
Transfer the fried goat cheese to a serving platter.