Today, I’m bringing you a recipe that’s going to be perfect for all of your upcoming at-home/socially distant get-togethers – be it Cinco de Mayo or Memorial Day – and will be the ideal weeknight treat because it’s gooey, slightly spicy, and definitely delicious. This post is sponsored by Heluva Good! In partnership to showcase their Heluva Good! Nacho Queso Supreme dip.
I can’t believe it’s already May – where has the time gone?! My husband and I are getting ready to enter what will be our 12th season on Martha’s Vineyard and it always shocks us how quickly time flies and spring arrives. One last hurrah we have because the restaurant officially opens mid-May, is Cinco de Mayo. It’s always the first week of May, we haven’t fully started work, and it’s a time where we can hop around local restaurants tasting their offerings. This time around, instead of hopping around, we will be hosting a few select friends and these Nacho Queso Supreme Fritters with Tomato Jam & Herb Aioli are one of the things we decided on serving, after testing a few batches in our home kitchen.
When Heluva Good! reached out interested in partnering with Cooking with Books, I was excited but more so my husband, who as a true New Englander, has grown up with the brand all his life. From birthday parties to football games, he’s told me how Heluva Good! dips have always been present, so this partnership aligned incredibly well in our household. That, and the fact that we have had a couple of stacks of the dip tubs in our fridge the past month!
Tell me about Heluva Good!
Heluva Good! Dips are made with real milk and cream along with flavorful spices that make each dip deliciously creamy – seriously, so creamy and it’s the base we use for these fritters.
Ok, so Nacho Queso Supreme Fritters…
Let’s talk about these Nacho Queso Supreme Fritters, which I paired with two dipping sauces: a slightly spiced Tomato Jam that is sticky sweet but balancing with the spices I added such as ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, and an Herb Aioli that’s lusciously creamy thanks to sour cream and avocado, with an herbaceous punch from the parsley and cilantro. The most perfect dipping sauces for a cheesy, crispy fritter you’re going to love!
Fritters are that one item that when we see on menus, we always order them. It’s a version of a classic croquette, typically made with béchamel cheese but instead of that classic sauce, we use Heluva Good! Nacho Queso Supreme Dip which has a very similar texture to a stiff béchamel and really does a great job of not only holding the shredded cheeses together but also flavoring the fritter.
Flavoring the fritters…
This recipe doesn’t call for any added spices in the fritter mixture because of the Heluva Good! Nacho Queso Supreme Dip already has spices like paprika and turmeric, as well as dehydrated vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. I added some fresh, minced bell peppers for a variety in texture, but you can easily omit those as the dip already has them.
Can I use another type of shredded cheese in the fritter mixture?
Yes! You can substitute the cheddar cheese for any other type of shredded cheese. You can also shred the cheese at home yourself. Cheddar is one of my favorite cheeses and pairs really well with this recipe, that’s why I picked it. You can also use mozzarella, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc. Just remember the flavor profile might change!
Can I use another type of Heluva Good! Dip instead?
Of course! Depending on what flavor profile you’re going for, you can create a variety of fritters, such as:
- French Onion Dip Fritter: use the Heluva Good! French Onion Dip as the base, shredded Swiss cheese in the mixture, and maybe add some caramelized onions in for extra goodness.
- Bacon Horseradish Fritter: use Heluva Good! Bacon Horseradish Dip as the base, mozzarella cheese in the mixture, and crispy bacon bits for an even tastier version.
- Jalapeno Cheddar Fritter: use Heluva Good! Jalapeño Cheddar Dip as the base, cheddar cheese in the mixture, and chopped fresh jalapeño for that spicy kick.
Can I use my air fryer or oven instead of deep-frying in oil?
I’m sure you can, but I haven’t tried to. The air fryer will surely get these crispy, but the oven might take a while longer and not get as golden brown. If you try it, let me know and if I get to trying it before you do, I’ll make sure to update the blog.
I’m gluten-free, how can I make these gluten-free?
Simply replace the flour with a gluten-free all-purpose blend and the panko bread crumbs for gluten-free bread crumbs and you’re good!
- Makes 1 cup
- 4 large tomatoes on the vine
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Makes 1 cup
- 8 ounces sour cream
- ½ cup fresh parsley, stems removed
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
- ½ medium avocado, pitted and peeled
- ½ lemon, juiced, and zested
- 2-3 teaspoons whole milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Makes 24 small fritters
- 8 ounces shredded white cheddar
- 8 ounces shredded yellow cheddar
- 12 ounces Heluva Good! Nacho Queso Supreme Dip
- ¼ red bell pepper, minced
- ¼ yellow bell pepper, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño pepper
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 4-6 inches of a neutral vegetable oil
- For the tomato jam: In a pot, boil water and cut an X on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop and boil them while for 10-15 seconds, then carefully remove them and place them in an ice bath. Quickly peel, quarter, and remove seeds.
- Remove water from the pot and use the same pot to make tomato jam. Add peeled, de-seeded, chopped tomatoes, along with the rest of the ingredients, and simmer over medium heat for 30-45 minutes, until thickened. Taste and season accordingly. Set aside.
- For the herb aioli: In a blender, blend all but the milk. Add milk to adjust thickness and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
- For the fritters: To form fritters, in a large bowl combine the shredded cheddar cheeses with the Heluva Good! Nacho Queso Supreme Dip. Add minced peppers and stir until combined. Let chill in the freezer for 20 minutes, this will aid in the forming of the fritters.
- Form the cold cheese mixture using a small scoop and roll between hands. You can bread them with a 1,2,3 breader (flour, egg, panko) immediately or let them chill again in the freezer, this will depend on the ambient temperature in your kitchen. Once ready to bread the formed fritters, bread by dipping in flour, egg, and panko.
- Repeat the egg and flour breading once again, to get a nice crust.
- Prepare your frying oil, heat to 350F, and fry the fritters a couple at a time, until golden brown, around 2-3 minutes. You can serve them immediately alongside the sauces, or you can hold them in a 350F oven to keep warm if you’re frying more than one batch.
- These can be served as a party appetizer in a bowl with the sauces on the side, or as a plated appetizer with the sauces both under and over the hot fritters, topped with fresh cilantro or microgreens.
Disclaimer: This post was in partnership with Heluva Good! Thank you for supporting brands that make it possible for me to bring you this delicious content.