We all need that one awesome appetizer recipe! Warning, these fried cheese balls are addicting!
If you thought that fried cheese sticks were delicious, just wait until you sink your teeth into these fried cheese balls! The cream cheese turns into this soft, light and creamy layer. Then there is that extra crispy coating of panko and the pepper jack cheese surprise in the center, wow! I suggest that you triple the recipe and be prepared to make a huge batch the next time you entertain friends and family. One of the great things about this recipe, besides that it's so tasty, is that you can prep ahead. Prepare as directed and place on a baking sheet uncooked. After they freeze for a couple of hours, place them into a freezer bag. Fry as directed right from the freezer. Perfect for any get-together!
As quick as you can, roll each cream cheese cube into a ball. Flatten it just wide enough to fit the pepper jack cube. Fill with small cube of pepper jack cheese. Fold over and cover pepper jack with cream cheese and form back into a ball. If it's gets too sticky, keep some all-purpose flour nearby and dust the palms of your hands now and then.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and hot sauce, set aside. In another bowl add the seasoned panko bread crumbs.
Dip cheese balls into the egg, making sure excess egg runs off the fork. Then roll into breadcrumbs, using your hands to pack down the crumbs onto cheese ball. When done, freeze for at least 1 hour.
When ready, preheat oil in a small sauce pan to medium heat until you reach a temperature of 350-360ºF.
Remove the cheese balls from freezer. Line a plate with paper towels, set nearby. When ready, using a spider tool, fry 2 cheese balls at a time. Fry for 1½ to 2 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer onto lined plate. Repeat until done. Transfer to serving plate and serve with salsa.
Get creative with the fillings for these bolitas de queso. Fill with different flavors of cheese, Spanish chorizo, cooked shrimp or pickled jalapeño!