Don't these look better than fried mozzarella sticks that you get at T.G.I. McFuglies? Come on they have fresh thyme sprinkled all over the top. That's called classing up the joint right there.
And while I am writing about these make sure you use whole milk ricotta. Don't even think about using skim milk ricotta. If you are going to go through all trouble frying these you might as well go all out. That's like ordering a Big Mac and Fries with a Diet Coke. The damage has already been done with the Big Mac and Fries, you might as well pave your way to calorie hell with a full on gloriously calorie laden high fructose corn syrup refreshing beverage manna from heaven. I say go big or go home.
Make sure to do this assembly line style. Get out your mise en place do it right. If you have little sous chefs at home, get them to roll the cheese into little balls.
Then dip the cheese balls (teehee, I am well aware I have the mentality of a 12 year old boy) into flour.
Then into the egg.
Then have them take a roll in the panko crumbs. Maybe make the cheese balls chill out in the fridge if the house is warm. That way they won't fall apart in the oil. Fry them up in hot vegetable oil and...
Viola! Cheese fritters. Much better than T.G.I.McFuglie's. You're going to like the way these taste, I guarantee it!
cheese fritters: adapted from everyday italian
1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
vegetable oil, for frying
a few sprigs of thyme
In a small bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, salt, and pepper. Place the panko crumbs into one bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Put the flour in a separate bowl. Line a tray with parchment paper.
Scoop a 1 1/2 tablespoon ball (between the size of a ping pong bowl and a golf bowl) of the cheese mixture into the flour and roll to coat. Transfer the ball to the eggs and roll to coat. Transfer the cheese ball to the panko and again roll to coat. Transfer the ball to the parchment-lined tray. Continue doing this until cheese mixture is gone. If it's hot in your house, you might want to chill the cheese balls for 30 minutes to an hour.
Meanwhile heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees F. Do a test fritter because the first one always screws up. Fry fritters in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel to drain. When you are done with the fritters, place the thyme springs in the oil and fry for a few seconds.
Sprinkle fritters with thyme and salt. Squirt some lemon juice on top of the fritters.
balsamic sun-dried tomato dipping sauce:
I didn't use any measurements for this sauce if you need a sauce close to this or if you need measurements click here for recipe.
sun-dried tomatoes with oil
salt and pepper to taste
I placed all of this in the blender and gave it a whirl until smooth.