Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese Starters

Fried Sweet Potato Balls Pecorino and Thyme Flavoured

Fried sweet potato balls with Pecorino Romano cheese and thyme, they work because we handle sweet potatoes as if they were as pumpkins: they both pair perfectly with tasty flavours, something that here Pecorino Romano, thyme and other aromas enhance without overpowering them.
There is no need to cook before sweet potatoes for this recipe, grating them raw then adding to the mixture is enough.


Ingredients for about 20 potato balls, Preparation 20 mins, Cooking approx. 20-25 mins

  • 400 g sweet potatoes
  • 70 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or a spoonful of dried thyme
  • 1 free-range egg
  • a pinch of nutmeg, salt and ground black pepper
  • Breadcrumbs, to taste
  • Peanut oil for deep-frying, 1 litre

Method

Peel potatoes and grate them raw collecting the pulp in a bowl. Add grated Pecorino cheese, chopped thyme leaves – or a spoon with dried thyme – a pinch of salt, nutmeg, black pepper and only the egg yolk and set aside the egg white. Mix.

Tip: you will probably notice that grated sweet potatoes tend to release a little water, so if the mixture just got is too soft, just add more grated cheese or breadcrumbs. If it is too dry, add a drop of milk.

Compacting the mixture and start to shape balls with oiled palm hands.

Beat the egg white with a pinch of salt. Plunge each potato ball, then bread them into the breadcrumbs.

Heat up the oil, to check if it is ready do the stick test, if oil creates small bubbles around the stick oil is ready for frying. You can also add a pinch of breadcrumbs and if it fries, it’s ready.

Tip: For perfect frying, the oil should not be too little, but should instead completely cover what you are frying.
The oil must reach at least 180° /190°C , suitable temperature for deep-frying.

The ideal oil for frying is the Peanut Oil since it has a smoke point of 180°C, but also olive oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Otherwise the temperature of the oil will lower and the fried will inevitably absorb the oil. A few pieces at a time, as you drain on absorbent paper, put the others.

Fry max 4 balls at a time for about 2-3 mins and possibly over a medium flame.

As soon as sweet potato balls are ready, place them on a plate lined with absorbent kitchen paper, add a pinch of salt and serve.

Tip: do not cover the veggie balls with another plate or lid or other kitchen absorbent paper, otherwise the heat will create moisture and the crispiness you got will become soggy.

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