Pan-Mediterranean Cheese Croquettes with Mastiha

  • ½ - ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus flour for dredging

  • ½ tsp. baking powder

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup grated graviera or kasseri cheese, or other mild yellow Mediterranean sheep’s milk cheese

  • 1 cup grated parmesan or kefalotyri cheese

  • 2 tsp. Mastiha crystals, pounded with a little salt in a mortar and pestle

  • ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Olive or other oil for frying

  1. Combine the flour and baking powder. With an electric mixer, lightly beat the eggs. When frothy, add the flour mixture and beat until combined and smooth. Add the cheeses, Mastiha, parsley and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt, if necessary.

  2. Spread about 1 ½ cups of flour onto a large plate or piece ofparchment paper. Take a tablespoon at a time of the mixture and shape into a small patty or oblong croquette. Dredge in the flour.

  3. In a large, heavy skillet heat about a half inch (1,5 cm) of oil until hot but not smoking. Place 3 or 4 croquettes (or as many as will fit easily without crowding) into the hot oil and fry until golden, turning so that they cook on all sides. Remove, drain on paper towels, and serve hot.