Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cheese & Rice Cutlets (Croquettes) - Party Appetizers

cheese-rice cutletsOne of the most important things in a party menu are appetizers, as they have the power to make or break your first impression as a host. Its better to stick to simple yet presentable food for the first course, and these Rice & Cheese Croquettes totally fit the theme. When you think about vegetarian cutlets, people often think of potatoes, paneer, or lentils. But what's a chef who doesn't break boundaries, right? Inspired by some leftover rice and a bag of cheddar cheese, I decided to try a hand at these spicy Rice Cutlets; with minimal ingredients and very little prep-time, they work great for a quick snack, as a nifty picnic lunch, or as inviting finger-food in a party.

1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2 tbsp all-purpose flour plus some more for dusting
1-2 green chillies - chopped finely
2 tbsp cilantro - chopped finely
4 tbsp onions - chopped
3 tbsp bell-peppers - chopped finely
salt and lemon juice - to taste
1 tbsp corn flour (or 3 tbsp bread crumbs)
Oil for frying
few baby roma tomatoes
few toothpicks

Add 1 tbsp oil to a pan, and saute the chopped onions and bell-peppers for about a minute.

Now mix all the ingredients together with rice except the tomatoes. Mix gingerly with your hands. Add the flour slowly as you shape them into balls or cutlets.

Heat oil for frying (or shallow-fry) in a wok. Once you've shaped all the croquettes, dust them in all-purpose flour; make sure to coat it completely so the cutlets do not break while frying

Fry 3-4 cutlets at a time at medium-high temperature. Flip them over gingerly till dark golden in color. Remove them and dab them on a tissue-paper to get rid of excess oil.

Now pass a tooth-pick through each cutlet, then top it with a baby tomato and drizzle with some sweet tamarind chutney. These croquettes are on their way to Culinarty's Original Recipes Roundup!

These rice & cheese croquettes are really tasty, with the rice adding the crispiness and the cheese making it gooey at the same time. Serve them hot, and both you and your guests are sure to ask for more!

Related Recipes:
Cheese & Bell-Pepper Rice Pulao (Pilaf)
Vegetable Cheese parathas (Stuffed Flatbread)

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