Growing up one of the very first jobs I ever had was working in a kitchen. Almost 40 years later I still remember many of the recipes Miss Helen taught me while learning the ropes in the kitchen. One of those recipes was for the World Famous Broccoli Balls, arguably the most popular appetizer on the menu.
Now I know what you are thinking.... Ugh... Broccoli. I get it. That is exactly what I would say. But I would also tell you to give it a chance. Broccoli balls are a mix of broccoli, cheese, and bacon bits that are battered, breaded and deep fried and served with a side of honey mustard. If it is deep fried it has to be good, honest.
- 2 package of frozen chopped broccoli
- 1 large pack of shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 packs of chopped bacon bits
- 1/2 cup of flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- Panko bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: The Broccoli
The first step is getting your layer of broccoli down. It does not really matter whether you boil it or microwave it, the end result is the same. I usually use the microwaveable frozen broccoli and layer it in the dish, finely chopped.
Step 2: Layer the Cheese
Next, layer the shredded cheddar cheese over the broccoli.
Step 3: The Bacon Bits
Then layer the bacon bits over the cheese adding more or less to taste.
Step 4: Making the Balls
The final step in preparation is adding your salt, pepper, and any additional spices. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together and start forming the balls, which is a bit of an art form. If you do not form them with enough pressure they will fall apart when you batter and bread them, use too much pressure and you will have a mush ball. Once everything is balled up, cover the dish and stick it in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes to allow them to firm up. This is the point I generally clean up the huge mess I just made.
Step 5: Batter and Breading
Battering and breading is probably the easiest part of the process. Mix the milk and flour together in a small bowl to form the batter. It needs to be just thick enough to evenly coat the broccoli ball. Next, dump some of the bread crumbs in a large plastic bowl. I generally start an assembly line where one hand will dunk the chilled balls in the batter. Once it is nice and coated I will transfer it to the bread crumb bowl and give it a few good shakes to get it good and coated. If you use a good sized bowl you will not have to worry about getting bread crumbs everywhere. Finally, I put the freshly made balls in a plastic container until it is time to drop them in the fryer.
Step 6: Eat
Well, if you made it this far it is time to eat. Drop 5 to 6 broccoli balls into the deep fryer and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes, when you see cheese seeping from the crust they are done.