2000s Recipes + Menus

Appenzeller Cheese Crisps

Makes about 45 hors d'oeuvres
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:1 1/2 hr
April 2007
These lacy, savory, funnel–cake–like squiggles, made with the mild Swiss cheese known as Appenzeller, are unbelievably light because of the carbonation of the beer in the batter. They are wonderful when hot — and they're still amazing at room temperature or even a few days later (if you can keep them around for that long).
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 lb Appenzeller cheese, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup beer (not dark)
  • 1 qt vegetable oil
  • Special equipment:

    a 12-ounce plastic squeeze bottle with a 1/16-inch hole in tip; a deep-fat thermometer
  • Bring milk just to a boil over moderate heat in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in cheeses until melted, then cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  • Stir eggs and beer into cheese mixture, then stir into flour mixture until combined. Force batter through a medium-mesh sieve into a 2-quart measure or bowl and let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes.
  • Transfer batter to squeeze bottle.
  • Heat oil in a deep 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) until thermometer registers 320ºF. Working very quickly, squeeze batter into hot oil in loose swirls to form 4 (2 1/2-inch) lacy rounds, then fry, turning over once, until golden, about 1 minute total. (Rounds will expand to about 3 inches as they cook.) Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain in 1 layer. Make more crisps in same manner. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooks’ note: Cheese crisps can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then kept in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper, at room temperature. Recrisp on a baking sheet in a preheated 350ºF oven, about 15 minutes.
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