Before tackling some cheese recipes, Fanny takes a quick tour of the Christmas Buffet table to suggest, or rather remind us, of some leftover ideas. It's like a blog review of the year really. Fanny admits that it is not possible to predict, without being a clairvoyant, which of her glorious suggestions will remain to be transformed, so she gives some general advice. Any leftover meat, potatoes and bread can be transformed into Pitt-y-Panna, Poor Mans Pizza, Croques Monsieur or Torrijas. Any number of soups can be created with exciting winter vegetables left lurking about. Mincemeat can be transformed into a Soufflé with ease and speed. Potatoes easily fancied up, and anything sweet makes an omelette. Even, if like Fanny, you've made too lavish a fruit basket for Christmas Dinner, those stray pineapples can be frittered. So, no need for clairvoyance, just skip back through Fannys' recipes and all will be well.
Now that that is all clear, Fanny moves back to that poor old Cheese Board. What if you have some sad, neglected hard cheese lying about. What can you do to cheer it up? You can probably hear me shriek with delight as Fanny unveils her Fried Cheese. Yes, cheese, that's fried. In batter. Hurrah.
The batter is a new one on me, but you know, its not a time to hang on to old traditions. Just a couple of tablespoons of flour and an egg, separated. The yolk is beaten into the flour with a spoonful of very cold water and beaten and beaten until smooth but still very thick, with a little seasoning. Fannys only advice is that it should be too thick for a dipping and coating batter. But worry not, just before the frying begins it's transformed into a batter that IS suitable for dipping and coating by whipping up the egg white until its very stiff and blending the two. It looks like a lovely batter in the end, light and golden coloured.
Fanny says the cheese can be Gruyère, Emmental, plain old Cheddar or even processed cheese. Whichever looks the saddest on the cheese board I'd say. For me it's Cheddar. Fanny cuts her cheese into triangles, which seems very jolly indeed, so I do too. It's passed into the batter and slipped straight into hot, but not too hot, oil. This allows the cheese to soften inside by the time the batter has puffed up and has become golden brown. Fanny suggests arranging the triangles on a napkin covered dish and sprinkling with parsley and paprika before presenting it as in her picture. However the photographer didn't get the memo, it's quite a different picture that has appeared. So Fanny includes a side note that it can also be an 'alternative' presentation which I have recreated. The photographer was presumably fired. The fried cheese is gorgeous, I'm almost ashamed to admit. The batter is light and puffed just as Fanny said it would be, and the cheese soft and gooey. I must make sure that my cheese board always has some left over...