I distinctly remember one of my first experiences in a really “fancy” restaurant, opening my eyes to the amazing thing that is crispy, fried goat cheese. I was beginning my first job out of college as a pharmaceutical rep, and I was in Delaware for two weeks of training. We were treated well, and dining out seemed to be practice for some of the lavish dinners that would come with entertaining doctors. (Something that later caused such a wrong, icky feeling that I ended up leaving the industry.)
Looking at the menu in front of me, sitting in between two gals from Boston with bleach blond hair and an accent that stung, I could only decipher about half of what was on it. Coming from a small, midwest German town, pork shoulder and spaetzel were the norm, not Arctic char over bok choy with candied kumquats.
I was too embarrassed to ask about different menu items for fear of mispronouncing and sounding like the inexperienced 22-year old that I was. It became my turn to order, and I was still face down in my menu. I looked up, and a waiter whisked past me holding a salad with some crispy, golden brown objects sitting on top, and I said, I’ll have that”, thinking it was a chicken finger salad.
Much to my surprise, those golden brown objects were fried goat cheese rounds with a crispy panko crust.
With one bite into the warm cheese, I melted too – a little bit tangy, super creamy, and the lightest coating. They were a far cry from the greasy cheese curds (the only familiar fried cheese) I waited in line for each year at the Minnesota State Fair.
My quest to make a gluten-free version has taken many turns. Panko breadcrumbs are difficult to replicate because they bake or fry up so airy and crisp. Gluten-free bread pulsed to dust got lost in the egg coating, essential for sticking powers. Crushed gluten-free crackers were too dense, and didn’t crisp. And tortilla chips, well, their flavor profile was a bad match for goat cheese.
But POTATO CHIPS …. a total win.
These little rounds are crispy, salty, crunchy on the outside, giving way to warm cheese heaven. Basically all the things I love.
There are a few steps involved, but nothing difficult. My partner, Jackson’s Honest Chips makes some mighty good taters to get things started, known for their commitment to using coconut oil instead of highly processed oils that other companies do. And their crunch factor – top notch. You’ll crush the chips in a food processor, give the cheese a dip-dee-do into egg wash, then pat with the chip coating, and into the oven for quick bake.
They’re incredible served alone, or if you want to experience salad nirvana, toss these golden, warm rounds on top of whatever ingredients you’ve got on hand (mine has pecans, pomegranate seeds & an aged balsamic).
Make them soon. I promise they’re a good thing. xo
Many thanks to Jackson’s Honest for sponsoring this post, a company I regularly use in my kitchen and am so happy to partner with. And thank you for understanding that I carefully choose the brands I work with that help make this site possible. All opinions are 100% my own.
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