Trader Vic's Cheese Bings

Trader Vic's Copycat Recipe

Makes About 40

4 eggs
1 1⁄2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
1 1⁄3 cups milk
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄2 tablespoon butter

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 1⁄2 cups milk
salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 lb. swiss cheese, finely grated
5 oz. cooked ham, finely chopped (about 1 1⁄4 cups)
5 eggs
leaves of 1⁄4 bunch parsley, chopped
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne
1⁄2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon Tabasco
vegetable oil
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

For the crêpes: Whisk eggs and flour together in a medium bowl. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Add nutmeg and season to taste with salt. Strain batter through a sieve into a bowl and set aside. Heat a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Swirl butter in skillet, then pour in 1⁄2 cup of the batter. Working quickly, swirl batter to coat skillet evenly. Cook until edges are golden brown, 1 1⁄2–2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook second side until golden, 1–2 minutes more. Transfer crêpe to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

For the filling: Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until pale golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and gradually add milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Return pot to medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until thick, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add cheese, ham, 2 of the eggs, parsley, nutmeg, cayenne, worcestershire, and Tabasco and mix well. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

Cut 4 of the crêpes in half (save any remaining crêpes for another use). Lay 1 crêpe half on a work surface with straight edge closest to you. Spread one-quarter of the filling along straight edge, shaping the mixture into a log. Roll crêpe snugly around filling jelly roll style (crêpe will not cover filling entirely). Put crêpe seam side down on a wax paper–lined sheet pan. Repeat process with remaining 3 crêpes and filling. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Pour oil into a large heavy pot to a depth of 2" and heat over medium-high heat until temperature registers 350° on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, beat remaining eggs in a wide bowl. Put bread crumbs into another wide bowl. Trim ends of each crêpe, then cut crêpes on the bias into 1"-thick slices. Coat each slice in egg, then dredge in bread crumbs. Working in small batches, deep-fry cheese bings, turning once, until golden all over, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let drain, and season to taste with salt, if you like, while still hot. Serve hot.

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