If you have been following my blog for a while now (or if you know me IRL) then you know how I feel about farmers markets. I love 'em. So I was THRILLED to see some greens make their way back to the market shelves. I think this was the perfect way to use some of the spinach I picked up today!
When you make these, try to move quick. This will prevent the cheese mixture from getting too soft (which can make breading them difficult and cause the cheese to leak out while frying). That being said, I won't keep you any longer from making these. I hope upon first taste you think to yourself, "damn, Im good" too!
Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 1 hour waiting time
Cook Time: 4-6 minutes per batch
Yields: 36 bites
You Will Need:
For the filling
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 6oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3oz cream cheese, slightly softened
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 TBS dried oregano
- 3 TBS all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt, plus some for sprinkling
- 4 eggs
- 1-1 1/2 cups canola oil (or other neutral frying oil)
- marinara sauce, to serve
- In a food processor, combine all filling ingredients. Process on low until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Line a 9x5 loaf pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Pour filling into pan and spread evenly. Freeze for 1 hour to stiffen the mixture but NOT freeze it through.
- In the meantime, on a small plate mix breadcrumbs and oregano. On another small plate, mix flour, cayenne, and 1/4 tsp salt. In a small bowl, mix 4 eggs with a fork. Set all aside.
- Remove cheese mixture from freezer and remove from loaf pan. Cut into 36 pieces (9 pieces by 3 pieces).
- With each piece, coat in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, then egg, then breadcrumbs. This gives a double layer of coating on the bites which prevents the cheese from leaking and gives them more structure as they fry.
- In a medium sized sauté pan, add canola oil. You will want enough to come halfway up each bite as they fry. Heat oil up to 350-360 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, you can stick a wooden spoon inside the oil. If it starts to steadily bubble around the spoon then you are ready to go! If it bubbles vigorously then you should lower it.
- Place bites in pan evenly spaced and fry 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown (4-6 minutes total). Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil. While still hot, sprinkle with just a little more salt.
- Serve immediately with marinara sauce on the side. Enjoy!