While sitting at one of our favorite local restaurants, Dustin and I decided one of the best dishes we have ever ordered from every one of our favorite restaurants is their cheese plate. Its simple, usually local, and varies from restaurant to restaurant. There is no easier way to present a confetti of flavor than piling a mix of pungent, sweet, bitter, crumbly, smooth, rich and creamy cheeses onto a plate. I take a staple in my refrigerator, goat cheese, and serve it with two of my other favorite things! Let’s get started on my totally easy cheese plate!
This really couldn’t be easier and at a small dinner party, I’ve fried these as everyone waited. You will need:
Goat Cheese (8 Medallions about 1/4″ thick)
Panko Bread Crumbs
Olives (I prefer the pink olives from the olive bar at your local grocery store)
Press your goat cheese into the bread crumbs on both sides, plate and pop them into the freezer for about a half hour. This will ensure that when you fry the cheese, the bread crumbs will brown before all of your cheese oozes out.
Slice the olives super thin and set aside.
Slice the fennel into thin peices and reserve some of the fronds (greens).
When you are ready to prepare, heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large skillet. When a few pieces of panko sprinkled over the oil pop and sizzle, it’s time for the magic!
Place your cheese into the skillet giving each piece about an inch of wiggle room. Crowding a pan while frying can lead to steaming, which leads to sog. When side one is golden brown (only a minute or two) flip to the second side. Retire fried goat cheese to a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with kosher salt while still warm.
Plate two pieces with a small mixture of the fennel and olives on the side and garnish with a sprig of the fennel fronds.
This dish makes a terrific a start to a meal (who needs salad when there is fried cheese involved?) or a terrific end to your main course! The sharp salty olive cuts through the rich decedent goat cheese and the fennel leaves a clean crisp sweet note on the tip of your tongue. This plate is perfectly seasoned, perfectly portioned, and now I’m perfectly hungry for the satisfying crunch of the bread crumbs and the warm creamy tang that is fried goat cheese medallions!