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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Saturday, August 27, 2005

IMBB: We're living in the Seventies!

See also: Fried Green Tomatoes, deep-fried Mars bar and deep-fried boiled eggs for more oily delights!

Non-Aussie readers may not get the Skyhooks reference there. If you did, you'll end up like I am now with the phrase 'We're living in the SEVENTIES! da da daaah daaah daaaaaah dah! dah!!' on repeat in your brain for the whole night. Why? Read on...
The theme for this month's Is My Blog Burning is hosted by At Our Table with the theme of "Winter's Flying, let's get frying" (yes, I used the alternative southern-hemisphere title). I actually forgot about this until Friday afternoon, and I wondered how I could incorporate something fried into our already planned roast chicken dinner. The chips we'd have? Naaaah.
Then it hit me. We are lucky (?) enough to have a whizz-bang German deep fryer built into our kitchen bench, and we had a small round of Danish camembert in the fridge. I'm going retro! A whole breadcrumbed deep-fried camembert.....heart attack on a plate!! Yay!
Mum heard what I'd be making and started laughing - pointing out how she remembered doing it for dinner parties in the 70s...which prompted the Skyhooks song earworm. Evidently the big pub in the main street of St Arnaud in western Victoria is living in the 70s as well, as I recall seeing it on the menu there....and watching my friend's dad eat it for a entree. A pretty decadent entree, when you're following it with a pub-size steak and chips! Ouch.

So, with the deep fryer heating up, I used my bowl of rye breadcrumbs I'd fried in butter and bacon fat last week for a cheap spaghetti supper. Because, if you're going to deep fry cheese, you may as well coat it in bacon fat-soaked breadcrumbs. No?
Cut the cheese in half and dip into a beaten egg, then vainly attempt to roll it around in the breadcrumbs and make some stick. Seems crunchy fried breadcrumbs are not really the best option for this. Some sort of batter would be better, but anyway....
Make up a dipping sauce for your fried cheese. These deep fried camembert dishes are usually served with some kind of sweet fruit sauce, to cut through the richness of the cheese. So, I made up something using the plum & nectarine jam I made last summer, livened up with a bit of lemon juice and ground black pepper. It worked really well, successfully cutting through the rich gooiness of the cheese.
In the event, I was so worried about the cheese starting to melt through the breadcrumbs or exploding or disintegrating or something, that I possibly didn't leave it in long enough. You can see how I cut the cheese half open to create a sexy food porn image of molten flowing cheese. Which didn't happen. The cheese was soft and warm, but not flowing. Ah well.
It all tasted pretty good as we attacked it with duelling forks, dipping it in fruit jam, and washing down each mouthful with a nice glass of vintage Yellowglen sparkling.

A. had never heard of this 'bizarre' fried camembert concept before, ("is this a uniquely Aussie thing?") but he really did enjoy it. Although, he did point out that anyone who ordered and actually ate a whole one for an entree before ordering a main deserves everything that comes to them in middle-age! We struggled to get through our own small half.
Although, I can't say I really took much notice of him; I was already busy crumbing a chunk of King Island blue cheese to see how that would fry up. Mmmmmm.....deep fried blue cheese.... Smelly. :-)


  • Cool! Fried camembert was popular in Sweden too, in the 70's and maybe early 80's, too. You can still buy pre-breaded frozen camembert that you just fry in a pan. (I should do that some time.) However, it's thought of as dessert here! Always served with Cloudberry Jam and... often with deep-fried parsley, too.

    By Blogger Anne, at 8/27/2005 10:01:00 pm  

  • mmm fried camembert! ive never attempted to make at home but the ones at hogs breath cafe are pretty decent!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/28/2005 04:42:00 pm  

  • I had the deep fried camembert as an entree at my wedding in 1980. It had a cherry conserve alongside and we served Lanson Black Label champagne. The champagne must have taken over because it is the only thing I can remember eating on my wedding day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/28/2005 05:50:00 pm  

  • Yum! I love the concept. Fried camembert with a fruity dipping sauce! It looks and sounds classy too.

    You're always so prompt with your IMBB entries. I did a different cheese-frying project but still working to put it online, hehehe!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/28/2005 09:24:00 pm  

  • I've never had deep fried camembert, but deep fried mozzarella is a wildly popular italian and steakhouse appetiser in most of the places I've been in the US.
    And I can't believe you can buy prebreaded camembert in Sweden, Anne! Talk about convenience.

    By Blogger Nic, at 8/29/2005 02:52:00 am  

  • In Germany, too! It is so common, in supermarkets as well as in "kneipen", simple, around the corner restaurants. You just throw them in a pan or the oven. With a salad, depending on the size, they are either a starter or a light main dish.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/29/2005 03:18:00 am  

  • oh, it was me, Hande.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/29/2005 03:19:00 am  

  • I have had it before, at a french restaurant ages ago as a dessert. It was something so rich that even when two people shared it, it was too much for us.

    By Blogger boo_licious, at 8/29/2005 06:48:00 am  

  • I've done something similar, with chèvre to top a salad. In that case dredged the discs in flour, then egg, then I've used both panko or just blitzed up crispy flatbreads. But camembert -yum!

    By Blogger tara, at 8/30/2005 01:48:00 am  

  • Oooh...that looks sinfully yummy! I love this dish...it's deep-fried cheese, how could I not? It's a dish they serve at a German restaurant where I live, also with the fruity jam siding...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/30/2005 03:48:00 am  

  • "if you're going to deep fry cheese, you may as well coat it in bacon fat-soaked breadcrumbs. No?"


    By Blogger Kevin, at 8/30/2005 08:21:00 am  

  • I used to deep fry it all the time in the early 80's when I first left home and we ate it with cranberry sauce. Because it was a bit messy doing a whole wheel of camembert I remember cutting it into 8ths and crumbing then frying them, a little fiddly but sooo comforting in winter. I may have to do one for old times sake too.

    By Blogger Amanda, at 8/30/2005 09:54:00 pm  

  • Its my favourite. I had it once in Auckland as a starter, with a garlic sauce that I think they inserted before frying. At an Italian resturant, Greenwoods corner...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/15/2006 04:19:00 pm  

  • I`m going to make it tonight, without the breadcrumbs though.

    "...At an Italian resturant, Greenwoods corner...", thats where I had it first too, with the banana wrapped in chicken breast, wicked.

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