Unusual Ingredient of the Week - Bocconcini

Or to put it another way, baby Mozzarella, literally translated as Little Mouthfuls.
I had been eyeing up this recipe by Nigella Lawson in Feast for some time but as is often the wont with Nigellas recipes, sourcing the ingredients was proving to be far more troublesome than the actual recipe itself.
So, as I went shopping yesterday, the plan was to buy some spinach and make ricotto and spinach fritters. My husband made Cannelloni with a similar filling on Friday Night and I love the creamy, savory flavour of the soft ricotta against the salty parmesan and the iron tang of the spinach.
I was lured over to the cheese section (probably by the 'aromatic' but terribly naughty Vacherin) and nestled discreetly, between big, burly buffalo Mozzarella balls was a pot of Bocconcini AND it was reduced to 79p. As you may have guessed by now, I get a subversive thrill from finding unusual items reduced and I hugged myself gleefully all the way home.
When I got home, I pulled out Feast and checked out the recipe which I found to be extremely simple although it did utilise hot fat. Still, I ploughed ahead and tweaked the recipe by adding a little Paprika and Black Pepper to Cornflour. I wanted them to have a little heat.
150g Bocconcini
40g Cornflour
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika (optional)
Black Pepper and Salt
1 Egg
50g Panko or Breadcrumbs
Vegetable Oil for frying
Heat enough vegetable oil to come 5cm up the side of a heavy bottomed saucepan.
Drain the Bocconcini. You should have between 14-18 in a pot so, working on a sliding scale of mildly peckish to extremely glutunous, this could feed between 2-4 people.
Pour the Cornflour into a sandwich bag and add the Paprika if using, Salt and Pepper. Shake well and add the little white globes. Make sure they are completely coated.
In a shallow dish, beat the egg.
Pour the Panko Crumbs into a second shallow dish.
Much in the same way as you make Mozzarella in Carozza, you will be getting a conveyer belt system going: out of the cornflour, coat in egg, smother in crumbs and into the hot oil.
They will go golden brown very quickly and if they haven't been coated properly in the mixture, the cheese will start to ooze out into the hot fat and spit at you like a hellcat (I know this for a fact, I have splatter marks on my arm).
Once golden - no more than 40 seconds to a minute - remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on some kitchen roll. Leave to cool for a minute then enjoy!
These would taste delicious with a) Ketchup, my rather uncouth suggestion, b) Ranch Dressing my husbands suggestion, American through and through that he is and c) Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce, my mums exotic input.
Or just enjoy them virginally plain.


Kelvin said...

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Saffron said...

How are you? I'm still regovering from my cold and your "bocconcini di mozzarella" are the right medicine! Compliments they look beautiful!

Kathryn said...

I've never had bocconcini! Never even seen them to be honest. Having said that, I haven't looked. They look quite beguiling, in the way that small balls of deep fried food do. They are calling Eat Me! I am impressed by the even colour - no burnt patches - and your intrepid feat of deep frying in scary fat. Mmm.. they really do look frighteningly moreish!

Kathryn x

wheresmymind said...

I just gained 5lbs..thank you very little!! hehe

Writing At The Kitchen Table said...

Hi Kelvin! Thanks for the addition to your blog - you certainly have a lot of blogs!

Saffron! Hope the Bocconcini make you feel better! They tasted so good!

Kathryn, you must try to seek them out. I got them from Waitrose. Of course, one pot of them isn't quite enough...

Jeff, I can't believe that these are fattening....

Freya x