Deep-Fried Saffron-Parmesan Sticks

Total Time:
6 hr 8 min
6 hr 5 min
3 min

About 24 pieces.

  • 1/2 teaspoon tightly-packed saffron threads
  • 1/2 pound good-quality young Parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padana, less than 3 years old
  • 4 cups sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups ice water
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted flour, plus extra for coating
  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add saffron and boil 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Use a sharp knife to cut Parmigiano-Reggiano into thin slices. Cheese will not cut evenly, but any shape 2 to 3 inches long and no more than 1/4 inch thick will work well. In a small bowl combine cheese with saffron liquid and marinate 6 hours.

  • In a deep-fryer heat oil to 365 degrees. In a bowl beat egg yolk; add water, stirring lightly to blend. Add 1 1/2 cups flour all at once and stir gently with a fork or chopstick until just blended. Do not overblend; batter will be lumpy. Piece by piece, coat cheese pieces with extra flour; dip pieces thoroughly in batter, then quickly toss in hot oil (don't wait for extra batter to drip off). Cook 2 to 3 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up cheese and drain on paper towels. Keep warm while you fry remainder. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

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