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Author Notes: Most everything delicious at the fair comes in a fried form. this is my take on a delicious popper known as the ham ball served with a pineapple and chipotle sauce. - Dax Phillips —Dax Phillips
Food52 Review: When I told my friends that I was testing deep fried ham balls this week, they had the nerve to jeer. If you can get beyond the name, and you so should, then you will get on to a delicious recipe. The recipe is easy to follow and pretty easy to make, too. Do use large eggs, so the balls hold together (as I learned first beginning with only medium). You should be able to make a dozen small balls -- rich, savory, crunchy on the outside, and perfectly salty. The Swiss cheese cube in the middle melts just so, for a soft, gooey inside. But my very favorite part is the drizzle. The fresh pineapple with chipotle offers a sublime sweet and spicy complement to the ham. I loved these flavors so much, that I would suggest you double the amount for the sauce. Serve these as an appetizer or for something new at brunch with eggs. If you have leftovers, these do reheat nicely. - Sagegreen —Sagegreen
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup homemade breadcrumbs
- 1 cup minced ham, cooked
- 2 tablespoons minced onion
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 cups canola oil
- 1/4 cup Swiss cheese, small cubes
- 4 ounces crushed pineapple
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 whole chipotle pepper, chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- Begin by adding the ham, eggs, onion, and homemade breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Mix well. Add the panko breadcrumbs to a plate. Take enough of the ham mixture and form it into a golf ball size shape. Once formed, press it down a bit with your thumb. This is where you will take a cube of the swiss cheese and place it in the middle of the ham ball. Form it back into a ball, and roll it into the panko breadcrumbs. Place on a separate plate. Repeat.
- Once all of the balls are formed, place the plate of balls into the freezer and let them form and solidify, approximately 30 minutes.
- During this time, make the glaze. Add the pineapple, water, and chipotle pepper to a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Add the mixture to the blender and pulse it down to a nice puree. A bit of texture is just fine. Heat the oil in a pot on the stove. Heat it on medium high heat until you reach about 375 degrees. Take the ham balls out of the freezer and add a few to the heated oil, moving them around until they are all nice and golden brown. This will only take about 5 minutes, if that.
- Remove the balls with a slotted spoon onto a paper lined plate, and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Repeat. When you are ready to plate and serve, add the balls to a serving plate, and add the sauce in a small bowl. This plating allowed for a nice drizzle of the sauce on the ham ball. Pure delight through and through. A great crunch on the exterior, while nice a fluffy on the inside, this ham ball when perfect with the sweet heat from the sauce.