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Prosciutto and Fontina Cheese Fritters

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

For the Fondue:
5 plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons very finely diced onion
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons hot smoked Spanish paprika
Kosher salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste

For the Fritters:
2 cups Wisconsin fontina cheese, grated
1/4 cup prosciutto ham, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups Panko Japanese bread crumbs
1 gallon peanut or grape seed oil

Cooking Directions:

For fondue:

Char the tomatoes on a hot grill until blistered and fairly dark, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove seeds and dice tomatoes and skin. In medium skillet over medium heat, cook garlic and onion in olive oil until tender and their flavors develop. Add smoked paprika and allow it to bloom for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes to the onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

For fritters:

In large bowl, combine the cheese and prosciutto. Toss with flour to separate shreds. Add rosemary and cracked black pepper. Fold in the milk and egg to form a stiff mixture. Form 24 quarter-size patties, using a level tablespoon mixture for each patty. Coat patties with bread crumbs, pressing crumbs into patties to cover well.

Heat peanut oil to 350 to 375°F in deep fryer. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with fondue.

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