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Fontina Fritters RECIPE

This recipe was contributed by Shirley Cline.

Shirley was a great inspiration when I first started working on the idea of creating a recipe and cooking web site. Not only did she encourage me but she also supplied a great many recipes and other pieces which are featured throughout the site. Her great achievement was to teach me to cook risotto over the internet!

Although I never had the chance to meet Shirley, or even talk to her, I regarded her as a good friend. It was with great sadness that I learnt that she passed away in Autumn 2004 and that there would be no more emails. I think she will be sadly missed by a lot of people like me to whom she gave such pleasure with the sharing or her recipes. The pleasure my children have had from her recipe for Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint - not to mention the fights for seconds - has been a joy to behold.


2/3 lb. chilled fontina, not too ripe (see note)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 egg yolks
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 Tblsp. olive oil
1/2 - 2/3 cup ice water
Vegetable oil for deep frying
2 egg whites
1/2 cup minced fresh basil

  • Cut cheese into 1 inch cubes.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the wine, egg yolks and garlic.
  • Whisk in baking powder, flour and 1 tsp salt.
  • Whisk in olive oil, then add enough ice water to make a thick but pourable batter, about the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • When ready to serve, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a frying pan to 360°F.
  • Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry.
  • Fold them into batter along with basil.
  • Dip cheese cubes into batter.
  • Allow excess batter to drip off.
  • Fry chunks in oil until uniformly golden.
  • Drain fritters on paper towels.
  • Salt lightly.
  • Serve immediately.

Making Ahead:

  • Batter, MINUS the beaten egg whites may be mixed a day ahead. 
  • Cover and refrigerate.
  • Bring to room temperature before adding the egg whites.

Information on Fontina cheese:

Semi-solid, cow’s milk. Sour flavor. More tangy finish than gruyere. Really fantastic when cut into chunks and eaten with bread and good olive oil. Medium impact. This cheese has a delayed finish that requires chewing patience in order to appreciate (or such a large mouthful that it takes a while). It can get a really bitter aftertaste if you keep it too long (more than 2 weeks after you buy it).

Serves 8 when served with 2 or 3 other antipasti

Shirley Cline

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