It’s been a good week for beer and cheese on the air. Jim Packard of Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison hosted a live, on-air beer and cheese tasting today, with Sara Hill of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Randy Sprecher in the studio — I phoned in from Milwaukee. You can listen to the segment here by clicking on the date of the show, 11/25/08.
The recipe mentioned is for Wisconsin Gruyere Fritters, from The Best of American Beer & Food. I donated a signed copy of the cookbook for the NPR fundraising drive, but if you want just the recipe for the fritters, here it is:
Wisconsin Farmstead Gruyere Fritters
Adapted from a recipe by chef Govind Armstrong of LA’s Table 8 Restaurant, these fritters must be served while gooey and warm – so plan accordingly.
2 cups canola oil
1/2 pound grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup farmstead or Saison-style ale
2 tablespoons minced chives
Pour oil in a 9-inch deep skillet, to a depth of at least one inch, and place over medium-low heat. Heat oil slowly while preparing the fritter batter.
Place gruyere into medium mixing bowl. Stir together flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a measuring cup, and add to cheese. Toss the cheese to coat evenly with flour mixture. Whisk together the eggs, ale and chives in a large bowl, and then pour into cheese mixture. Stir to blend.
When oil temperature reaches 360°F, begin adding the fritters. As you add the fritters, the temperature of the oil will drop to about 350°F, which is ideal. Don’t crowd the pan or the fritters won’t cook evenly, and you’ll wind up with greasy lumps of cheesy dough. A deep 9-inch skillet can hold 4 small fritters with room for a pair of tongs to turn them.
Use tablespoons to shape fritter dough into mounds. Fry in batches of 4 fritters. Cook until golden, then turn and fry another half minute. Remove and drain on paper towels. Before adding the next batch of fritters, filter out browned bits with a mesh sieve or slotted spoon to prevent oil from turning bitter. Let oil reheat to proper temperature and then fry again.
When fritters are cool enough to handle, but still warm, serve in romaine lettuce cups.
Makes 12 fritters
Suggested pairing: Strong golden ale or Saison-style ale.