pretzel-crusted fried cheese

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  7 minutes
servings:  12 pieces

8-ounces provolone or mozzarella cheese - cubed
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
4-ounces yellow cheddar cheese - cubed
1 1/2 cups +2 teaspoons flour
1 8-ounce bag thin pretzel sticks
4 large eggs
5 tablespoons spicy mustard
oil for frying

sauce ingredients:
2 tablespoons horseradish - drained
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1/4 cup sour cream

fried cheese steps:
1.  pulse the provolone and parmesan in a food processor until the cheese gathers into a ball; transfer to a bowl. 

2.  pulse the yellow cheddar and 2 teaspoons flour in the food processor until smooth.  form teaspoonfuls of the yellow cheddar mixture into 12 small balls; roll between your hands until smooth.  transfer to a place and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

3.  clean the food processor.  add the pretzels and pulse until finely ground with a few chunks, transfer to a shallow dish.  mix the remaining flour and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in another shallow dish.  whisk the eggs and mustard in a third dish.

4.  roll tablespoonfuls of the provolone mixture into 12 balls, then flatten into disks.  put 1 yellow cheddar ball on each disk, then shape the provolone around it, enclosing the cheddar.  roll into an egg shape.

5.  dip the cheese balls in the egg mixture, then dredge in the flour, return to the egg mixture, then roll in the pretzel crumbs, turning to coat.  refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to 3 hours to set the coating.

6.  preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  heat 1/2-inch oil in a saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360 degrees.  fry the cheese balls in batches turning until golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a rack set in a baking dish.  bake until heated through 5-7 minutes.

sauce steps:
1.  whisk the horseradish, mustard and sour cream in a bowl.

- food network magazine, april 2011

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