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Jun 5, 20080

Puerto Rico: True Flavors by Wilo Benet

Section II: Fritters

Almojábanas

Rice flour and cheese fritters

Makes 2 dozen

Almojábanas are a traditional family treat. Because their taste is a bit neutral, they are commonly served drizzled with honey or pancake syrup or served as a dipping treat for hot chocolate.

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups enriched rice flour

5 eggs

12 ounces queso fresco del pais*,

crumbled vegetable oil for frying

Procedure:

1. In a round-edged saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil, and stir in the salt. Add the rice flour, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside to cool slightly.

2. Once the dough has cooled to the point where you can handle it with your hands, incorporate the eggs (one by one) into the dough to form a thick smooth batter. At this point, incorporate the crumbled cheese.

3. In a frying pan, or a deep fryer, heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F. Carefully drop tablespoonfuls of the Almojábana batter, in batches, into the hot oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally to make sure the fritters brown evenly.

4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the Almojábanas from the oil, and set aside to drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.

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