Growing up, my family always did a huge spread of appetizers in lieu of a plated dinner on New Years Eve and it was my absolute favorite thing! I loved being able to have all of my favorite snacks throughout the night instead of getting bogged down by one heavy plate at dinner.
When I was asked to participate in the "Mahón-Menorca Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge" I jumped at the chance and knew that I would create something perfect for ringing in the New Year.
I'm so excited to share with you what I made with the delicious cheeses they sent me to work with! First up is my Cheese Beignets with Piquillo Pepper Aioli. I don't know anything more perfect to serve on New Years Eve than a platter of puffy fried dough loaded with gooey melty cheese. Serve with a glass of Cava and your guests might never leave!
Cheese Beignets with Piquillo Pepper Aioli
6 cups vegetable oil for frying
2/3 cup mayonnaise
½ cup piquillo peppers
1 small garlic clove
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons finely minced shallots
12 ounces semi-hard Mahon-Menorca Cheese, cut into small cubes
1 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
In an electric fryer or large high sided skillet fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the oil up to 370 degrees over medium high heat.
In a small food processor puree the mayonnaise, peppers, garlic and paprika. Place in the fridge to chill.
In a small mixing bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, garlic salt and baking soda. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Add the shallot, diced cheese and the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Once the oil is hot, using a small cookie scoop carefully drop balls of batter into the oil. Fry for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined cookie sheet and allow to drain. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately with the chilled dip.
Makes 40 Beignets
#mahón-menorcacheese #cheesefromspain #eruocheeses