Salad with Deep-Fried Manchego Cheese and a Madeira Reduction

posted: 06/30/10
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Salad with Deep-Fried Manchego Cheese and a Madeira Reduction

Take Home Chef, Episode 26: Jeanette's Menu



  • 2 cups/450 ml Madeira


  • 1 jalapeno chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons/about 5 g finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Two 6-ounce wedges Manchego cheese (preferably made from raw milk), each cut into four 1/4-inch-/1/2-cm-thick wedges
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1/4 cup/35 g crushed ice
  • 1 cup/225 ml cold water
  • 1 cup/150 g plus 2 tablespoons/20 g all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup/70 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup/100 ml grape seed oil
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 head oak leaf lettuce or red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Simmer the Madeira in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat for 35 minutes, or until it is reduced to 2 tablespoons/30 ml and forms a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
  2. Mix the chili and cilantro in a small bowl. Coat the cheese with the herbs and set aside to marinate while heating the oil and preparing the batter. Add enough vegetable oil to a large saucepan to reach the depth of 3 inches/7 cm. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350?F/180?C.
  3. Place the crushed ice in a large bowl. Stir in the cold water. Using your fingers, slowly stir 1 cup/150 g of the flour into the ice water just until a thin batter forms and a few lumps of flour are still visible. The less the batter is mixed, the crispier the coating will be.
  4. Lightly coat the marinated cheese with the remaining 2 tablespoons/20 g of flour. Working in batches, dip the cheese in the batter to coat, and deep fry for 2 minutes, or until the coating is crisp and the cheese begins to melt. Using tongs, transfer the fried cheese to absorbent paper to drain the excess oil.
  5. Meanwhile, place the lemon juice in a medium bowl and gradually whisk in the grape seed oil to blend completely. Toss the lettuces in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Place the fried cheese atop the salads. Drizzle the Madeira reduction over the salads and serve immediately.
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