Fried Smoked Gruyere with Chipotle Cream Sauce

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Submitted by: Toast

For week 4 of this ICSA battle I was rather befuddled. The ingredient was Smoke, but unfortunately for those of us who don't live in texas, getting out to use a grill or smoker in February isn't always an option. For example, the night I made this dish we had this lovely weather outside.

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I'd already decided that I wanted to do an appetizer type thing this time, after last week's main course and dessert and veggies the weeks before.

I knew I wanted to do something with chipotles in adobo because they're probably my favorite smokey flavour of all, but what to pair it with. I've done a great chiptole tomato soup in the past, but this time inspiration hit when I was at the cheese shop. A local cheese company makes a great smoked gruyere cheese and one of my favorite foods in the world is fried cheese.

Combine the two and I knew I had my dish, despite the fact that this was starting to be Iron Chef: Fried Food Battle for me.

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Ingredients

Cheese

  • 1 Block of some at least semi-hard Cheese (here smoked gruyere)

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Sauce

  • Chipotles in Adobo to taste (I used about 1/3 of a can)
  • 1/3 Cup - Plain Yoghurt (You can sub low fat sour cream if you like)
  • 1/3 Cup - Mayo (Again, whole amount sour cream if you want)
  • Garlic
  • Onion (white and or green)
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Seeds (Toasted and ground)


Batter

  • Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Some of the adobo sauce from your can of chipotles
  • 1/2 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1/2 Cup AP flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp of Chili Powder
  • Buttermilk


Method

Chipotle Sauce

  • Start by throwing your cheese in the freezer for about an hour to get it as firm as possible before slicing.
  • Crack open a beer and get to work
  • Chop up your garlic, onions (whichever you're using, I was out of anything but green so I went that route) and your peppers. I sliced the hell out of my thumb on the peppers so they're not pictured and everything else is cut shittily (I don't blame the beer.)

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  • Brown your garlic a little and get everything else nice and fragrant in the pan

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  • Toss into a mini-chopper or blender and add the dairy/mayo before pulsing it until it's blended nicely. If you go the sour cream route your sauce will likely be a little firmer.

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  • Add the cumin last and give it another short pulse, then leave covered in the fridge to mellow a bit flavour wise. In this case I left it overnight since I was bleeding everywhere.


Batter

I derived this batter from a Hush Puppy one a friend of mine found somewhere on the net a while back. The addition of the liquid smoke really gave it a neat aroma and the mealy texture was great with the cheese. If you have a really manly block of cheese you should probably double the batter recipe.


  • Combine Dry Ingredients in a fair sized bowl.

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  • Add Egg, Smoke and Adobo (or franks or something)

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  • Then mix in buttermilk slowly until you get a nice goopy consistency that will cover and cling, but not break the cheese when it binds to it. Your best bet is to start with any leftover schmegly bits of cheese and work with them adding cornmeal or milk until you have the right consistency.

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Hot Oil Action

  • Get your frying implement ready, I was doing the big rounds one at a time so I filled up my baby woke until they could just float a little.
  • Get your cheese out of the freezer (don't leave it overnight until it's nigh un-cuttable like mine) and slice it as you like it.

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  • As mentioned, you probably want to start off with a few of your leftover bits to make sure the batter consistency is right.
  • Get your cheese nice and covered by the batter, making sure it's more or less sealed in.

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  • Then drop it in your oil with the toothpicks, make sure you brown it nice and evenly.

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  • Remove and drain away excess oil and plate quickly.

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The Money Shot

  • Plate as you please, I was hoping the texture of the sauce would be a bit firmer but it actually turned out quite nice as it dripped down and mixed with the cheese as I sliced in.
  • I topped it with one of the tinier wedges I fried ;)

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