|Made with real Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese from Italy|
Parmigiano Reggiano Appetizers ~ Bring on the Stuzzichini!!
|Fritelle with balsamic reduction dipping sauce ~ Perfetto!!|
Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinegar are perfect lovers!
I have such a fondness for Parmigiano Reggiano chesse, that I felt inspired to make yet another recipe for the LEGENDS from EUROPE "Market Basket Recipe Contest for Bloggers." This time, little Italian appetizers came to mind!
"Stuzzichini," in Italian, means little appetizers, or finger foods; the same as "tapas" in Spanish, and are meant to be snacked on before a meal. They are, typically, salty little treats meant to be nibbled with an alcoholic beverage, and "kick-start" your palette before a meal.
These herbed Parmigiano Reggiano fritters are the perfect little, salty bite as they crisp-up nicely on the outside, and house a soft, almost creamy interior, redolent of earthy rosemary. These flavors compliment each other well, as the rosemary gently perfumes the rich cheese, giving it a little added dimension.
The balsamic reduction is the perfect compliment to these fritters, as the fruitiness of the vinegar is a natural compliment to the salty cheese, and it hails from Modena, a town within the same Region where Parmigiano Reggiano is native. So, of course, they are meant to be lovers!
These fritters (fritelle) come together so quick and easily, you can easily double or triple the ingredients to make a batch for a party. This recipe, also, bends readily to adaptation, so go ahead and try different herbs, or add some lemon zest for a little extra pop! Your guests will be so impressed, and the truest testament is they will all be asking for the recipe! Don't forget to tell them to use real Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!
Facciamo Fritelle! ~ Let's make fritters!
2 tablespoons of whole milk
3 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup of all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
1/4 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (grated)
1 tablespoon of rosemary, (finely minced), plus one whole sprig
1 tablespoon of parsley (finely minced)
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey (for balsamic dipping sauce)
1 cup of olive oil (for frying)
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of cracked pepper
1.) In a small saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, and salt & pepper to a boil. Turn down heat to low and slowly incorporate the flour with a wooden spoon, until the dough form a ball.
2.) Transfer dough to a cookie sheet and spread out into a 1/2 inch layer so it can cool.
3.) After 5 minutes incorporate the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and the herbs.
4.) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
5.) To form the fritter balls, lightly dust your hands with flour, as well as tour work surface. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter into a rope.
6.) Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces, then roll those pieces into balls. Set aside.
7.) Using a heavy bottom, small pot, heat olive oil to about 325 degrees and fry the fritters (about 5-6 at a time) until golden brown. Using a mesh or slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
8.) Serve immediately, with balsamic reduction sauce for dipping
Balsamic Reduction Sauce:
In a heavy bottom sauce pan, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey and rosemary sprig, and simmer for about a 1/2 hour. It will reduce by half and you will notice the vinegar getting very thick and syrupy. Remove rosemary sprig and discard. Transfer to a small bowl, or individual shot glasses for dipping.
*May also serve with marinara, or basil oil
Makes 18 fritters