FRIED GOAT CHEESE BALLS + MANGO BALSAMIC SAUCE

I have a confession to make: I'm obsessed with Vanderpump Rules. I've stayed up plenty nights binging on this  alcohol-influenced chaos that is a hospitality based reality show. What's has intrigued me more than the love triangles are the famed goat cheese balls that are served at Sur Restaurant (where most of the debauchery goes down). I get equally excited when someone orders the goat cheese balls as I do when I see the flash of pink and exuberance that Lisa Vanderpump is.

I completely understand that there may be a large population of people that have no idea what I'm talking about, but hey — I'm know I'm not the only one who gets sucked into the abyss of Bravo reality television shows. The product of this fangirling are these goat cheese balls influenced by the West Hollywood restaurant.

While I was searching for recipe tips, I actually stumbled upon the vegetarian food blog run by another Sur server, Kristen Doute. Although she isn't my favorite on the show, I did get great inspiration in the form of mango balsamic purée.

This crispy, panko fried goat cheese balls are appetizer heaven. They are perfect to serve up as h'orderves -- or just make a batch for yourself while you binge on Vanderpump Rules!

I use Japanese panko bread crumbs because they are light and perfect for flash trying. They remain light and flaky when fried and don't harbor any excess oil when drained, particularly why they're ideal for tempura. Also, when you get a sushi roll that has a "crunch" element, it's panko that is used! Whenever I bake or fry something, I always use panko.

fried goat cheese balls + mango balsamic sauce

serves 3, 20 min prep time + 5 - 10 min cook time


INGREDIENTS

goat cheese balls
3 oz chèvre goat cheese
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
sea salt and pepper, to taste
grape seed or avocado oil
cucumber, julienned or sliced

mango balsamic sauce
1/2 mango, diced
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
half a lime, juiced

METHOD

Roll goat cheese into uniform balls.

Place in freezer on a plate lined with wax paper, for about 10 minutes.

Fill deep pan or Dutch oven with about half an inch of oil. Heat skillet on medium for 2-3 minutes.

Remove goat cheese balls from freezer.

Mix thyme, salt, and pepper with the panko in a small bowl. Place cornstarch in another bowl and whisk an egg in another.

Take goat cheese balls and individuality dip in flour. Shake off excess and dip in egg, then panko.

Carefully place the balls in oil. Depending on the width of your skillet, you may be able to fry six at a time. You want enough space between the balls to fry properly, so I did three at a time. Fry until golden brown, turning occasionally, every 2-3 minutes.

Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. While they cool, make the mango sauce. Simply place all ingredients for the sauce in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Serve balls atop cucumber, garnish with rosemary, then drizzle with mango purée.

You can learn more about Sur Restaurant and their goat cheese balls here.

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