Monday, January 11, 2010

Quick Bacon & Cheese Fritters

Beautiful little fried biscuits full of cheese & bacon goodness...Perfect as a side to a Pulled Pork Sandwich or any barbecue meal. These fritters have great flavor throughout and a wonderful crunch.
These little beauties are quick and simple to make. I take advantage of pre-made biscuit dough, (thank you Pillsbury!), and roll them through our short list of ingredients.
So I start off with 4 strips of bacon and cut them in half. (they fit in the pan better that way & it's easier to keep them straight) Set my heat to medium high and then into the skillet they go. I give them several minutes on one side, then flip them over and allow the other side to crisp.
Pull them out before they get too done...we like our bacon crunchy but not black as charcoal. :) Allow the bacon to strain a bit on some paper towels or napkins before taking them to the chopping board.
Over to our biscuits and cutting board...I chop some fresh cilantro. It gives a nice freshness to the fritters and also looks great. A little green goes a long way. (for those who are not fans of cilantro, you can use fresh Italian parsley instead)
Then I take some corn meal to my prep/cutting mat. It gives the biscuits a nice crunch adding a little more texture to the fritters.
Mix the cilantro and corn meal together. The colors just compliment each other so well.
Time to let the buscuits take a roll in the cornmeal & cilantro. I start off rolling each individual one so that they are well coated.
Then I add the cheese to the mix. According to my hubby, the more cheese the better. According to my doctor, everything in moderation. So I add just enough to make him happy without killing our hearts. Rolling the biscuits through the cheese, I try to make sure that each one gets plenty worked into the dough.
Grab my chopping knife and start giving the bacon a rough chop. The pieces could be as large or small as I like, but I prefer to have an array of sizes.
Gather the dough balls together and start rolling them through the bacon. Or they can be taken individually and worked through the bacon bits. Now to be honest, I actually do this both ways.
Make 10 balls of dough and set them apart. I just love the way all of the color jumps out at you. Don't they look pretty?
Next run a knife through each dough ball so that there are 20 balls to fry. (20 just sounds better than 10, plus they get done all the way through in no time) Then give them a quick roll in the leftover bits on the cutting board. Over high heat, I add enough oil into a medium sauce pan to be between 3 inches deep. Usually my choice of oil would be peanut oil, it has a high threshold to smoking, but you could really use either corn, vegetable or canola instead. Olive oil really doesn't give the best flavor, it's just too strong.
If you don't have this trick down yet, there is a simple way to see if your oil is hot enough to start frying. When you see the oil start rippling simply take a wooden spoon and dip the handle into the oil. If little bubbles start forming around the handle, then it's time to start frying!
Bring the heat down to medium high and gently drop in the first little dough ball to fry.
Then continue adding several more dough balls. Not too many, the temperature of the oil will begin to drop if there are too many in the pot. With a wooden spoon, give them a quick stir so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
After approximately 3 minutes, I stir the fritters again, making sure that all sides are getting fried and golden brown. They should be done after a total of 5-6 minutes. Then with a slotted spoon, I remove one and cut it in half just to make sure. Remove the rest of the fritters with a slotted spoon and place on plate or cooling rack lined with a paper towel. 
Immediately top the fritters with a sprinkling of shredded colby jack cheese. (yeah, I've got a thing for colby jack cheese) Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls.
Plate them up, serve & enjoy!

Quick Bacon & Cheese Fritters
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 package of Pillsbury Country Style Biscuits
4 strips of Bacon, cut in half
1 1/2 cups of Colby Jack Cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup Yellow Corn Meal
Over medium high heat, add bacon to a large skillet. Cook until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate or cooling rack.
While bacon is cooling, on a cutting board chop cilantro and mix with the corn meal. Take biscuits and knead the cilantro and cornmeal into each one.
When cool enough to handle, dice bacon and knead into the biscuits.
Add 1 cup of colby jack cheese and knead into each biscuit. Reserve the other 1/2 cup for topping later.
Cut each biscuit in half. Coat exposed dough with remaining cornmeal, cilantro, bacon and cheese on board.
Over high heat, fill a sauce pan 3 inches deep with oil (vegetable, corn, canola or peanut oil). When oil ripples, turn heat down to medium high. Add several dough balls and give a quick stir to make sure they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Do Not Crowd. Too many at the same time will cause the oil temperature to drop.
After 3 minutes, give fritters a stir to ensure that all sides have been fried golden brown. They should be done after a total of 5-6 minutes. Remove one with a slotted spoon and cut it in half to make sure the dough is cooked in the center. Remove remaining fritters and place on a paper towel lined dish or cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle with part of the remaining cheese. Repeat process with remaining dough balls.
Serve & enjoy!

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