Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crispy Fried Goat Cheese Salad

  A few weeks ago I went to the Schoolhouse Cafe in Paoli, Wisconsin with a couple friends for lunch.  Paoli is a tiny little town with a few shops and this wonderful cafe.  The schoolhouse was built in 1854 and became a cafe in 2008.  I've been there a few times and each time I've really enjoyed the food along with the atmosphere.    
I had the Goat Cheese Salad (mixed greens, pecan encrusted goat cheese, pears, strawberries, grapes, blueberries with a balsamic vinaigrette).  It was so good, especially the fried goat cheese!  I don't know when I'll get back to the Schoolhouse so I had to try and recreate this salad at home.  I didn't have any pecans so I used seasoned bread crumbs and it turned out great!   
 The first thing you want to do is put the goat cheese in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm it up so it’s easier to slice.  I used 4oz log of goat cheese but it’s easy to scale up or down, depending on how many people you’re feeding.
After slicing put a little flour and slice of cheese in your hand
and flatten.
Next coat cheese with flour, then dip in egg
and then coat with the bread crumb mixture.
At this point you can fry or put in refrigerator until ready to use.
Goat cheese is rich so one slice was enough for the salad as a little goes a long way.

Fried Goat Cheese:

4 oz. goat cheese log
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of freshly ground pepper
pinch of kosher salt
1 eggs, beaten
1/8 cup of flour
olive oil

Salad: (This is what I used but any fresh fruit would work)

Mixed greens
(Beets would also be a good addition as they go so well with goat cheese)
Candied walnuts 
Serve with a balsamic vinaigrette

1.  Put goat cheese the in freezer for about 15 minutes so it firms up for better slicing. 

2.  While cheese is chilling,  put the panko in a bowl.  Add the parsley, thyme,  garlic powder, pepper, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Set aside. 

3.  Beat the egg in another bowl.  Put the flour in a small bowl.  Remove cheese from the freezer.  Using a sharp knife, slice it into 4 pieces.  Flatten each piece using a little flour in the palm of your hand.  Put the cheese in the flour.  Flip it to coat on both sides.  Place the floured cheese into the beaten egg.  Flip it to coat with egg on both sides. Lastly, put it into the seasoned panko breadcrumbs.  Flip it to coat on both sides.  Put it on parchment lined  plate. Repeat with the rest of the cheese. This may be done ahead of time and kept chilling in the refrigerator until ready to sauté.  

4.  Coat the bottom of a shallow pan with olive oil. Set it on the stove over medium high heat. When the oil is heated, set the cheese down gently in the oil.  Repeat with the rest of the cheese.  Sauté until golden brown on both sides.  Remove it from the pan and transfer to a paper towel.

Serve warm on top of salad.
Yields about 4 pieces of fried goat cheese.

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