Chili Cheese Tops are perfect for a late night indulgence and they are actually very easy to make yourself. In this version the Mature Cheddar is held together by chicken stock and cornflour. In fact, you can make the mixture well in advance, even several days beforehand, and then you hardly have to do anything when you get the urge for a round of chili cheese tops. It is quite important to exercise a little care when frying the balls because of their liquid centres. Consequently, they can fall apart if you are not careful. Alternatively, you can give them an additional coating of egg and breadcrumbs/polenta. They will be extra crunchy and easier to handle. You can obviously dose the amount of chilli according to taste, but with two jalapeños without seeds, it was not unbearably strong.
1. Finely grate the Mature Cheddar and evenly mix with the cornflour.
2. Finely dice the jalapeños. Perhaps remove the seeds first so they are not quite as strong. If you want a particularly intense flavour, you can always add extra chilli. Add the chilli to the cheese and mix.
3. Bring the chicken stock to the boil, and then reduce the heat. Stir the cheese into the stock, a small amount at a time. Continue to stir until the cheese has been incorporated into the mixture.
4. Transfer to a bowl, and place in the fridge for about 3-4 hours until it is completely cold.
5. Take the cooled mixture, and roll into balls, and then turn them first in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then in the beaten egg, and finally in a combination of polenta and Panko.
6. Deep-fry the balls until golden brown. Don't fry them all at once; if you place too many in the saucepan together, it will reduce the temperature of the oil so much that they will not fry properly.
7. Place the fried balls on kitchen paper towel and sprinkle with salt.