Ilva's Formaggio Fritto Con Uva Fragola
|Dear sweet jebus I have just tasted heaven.. Oh My God.|
Being an avid fan of Ilva's, I read her blog each and every day equally for her breath taking pictures and her unique recipes. I lurve her. So.. back in September she posted a recipe for Formaggio Fritto Con Uva Fragola or Fried Cheese with Concord Grapes.. not necessarily two foods I'd ever think of combining together. But her pictures and her description were all it took for me to decide right then and there that I would make this recipe. I'm a big fan of the sweet/savory combination, so I knew that even though this dish looked a bit "foreign" to me, that it would be quite delicious.
I had no idea.
I had to stop myself from eating. I was already through almost half of a log of goat's cheese and was working on the slices of fontina when I realized that if I did not stop soon, there would be none for Hubbs. If he wasn't so interested in this "concoction", as he called it, then I wouldn't have given a damn and would have happily continued eating my weight in fried cheese with concord grapes - and lemme just tell you.. that's a whole hell of a lot of cheese and grapes. So, I guess, it's a good thing that he wanted some, eh?
I used both kinds of cheeses because he totally turned his nose up at the goat's cheese. But when I gave him a taste of the goat's cheese with the grapes first.. his eyes literally lit up and he got this hysterical grin on his face. It was quite funny.. quite funny for such a nay sayer! Then I gave him a slice of the fontina with grapes and asked which he liked better - he said the first one (goat's cheese) and I "Uh huh'd!" him and told him he DID like the goat's cheese better - for which he replied, "Oh no.. I meant the SECOND one!" liar.. liar.. liar!! teee!
I loved the goat cheese the best.. it's a bit more saltier and a whole lot creamier than the fontina so it paired much better with the sweet grapes for me. The fontina was good, the melt was more like mozzarella so it was chewy instead of melt in your mouth like the goat's cheese. But the grapes went equally well with it. I used Panko crumbs which gave all the cheese a terrific crunchy coating. This was bliss. I am so happy I tried my third in a long list of "must do's" of Ilva's recipes. So we are 3 for 3 in fabulous tasting unique recipes that came to me via a beautiful and talented woman all the way from Tuscany. Thank you, again, Ilva.. I can't wait to try number 4 (whatever it may be)!
Dear lord, I'm almost ashamed to include my horrible picture of this delectible dish.. actually, I am ashamed, but I feel the need to do it anyway.. PLEASE head over to Ilva's to see a beautiful picture that does justice to the taste of Ilva's Formaggio Fritto Con Uva Fragola! :D
Softish cheese like half soft goat's cheese or cow's milk cheese
Uva fragola or concord grapes
- Rinse the grapes and put them in a small pan together with a little oil (optional) and honey and heat it up slowly, stirring all the time. When they begin to soften, put the pan aside.
- Cut the cheese in finger thick slices, cut off the rind if you feel that it's needed.
- Turn one slice at a time in the whisked egg(s) and then you turn them in the breadcrumbs so that each slice is completely covered.
- Fry the cheese quickly in olive oil until golden and crisp.
- Serve the fried cheese together with the warm concord grapes.