For Cheese Balls:
- 12 oz goat cheese, @ room temperature
For the “crust”:
- 12 oz panko bread crumbs
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 16-24oz peanut oil (for frying the cheese)
For Dipping Sauce:
- ¼ cup honey
- Red Chili Pepper Flakes
- Zest from 1 orange
- 1 tbsp juice from 1 orange
Prepare the sauce first, while the cheese is coming up to room temp. In a small mixing bowl, start with the honey, warm it for like 5 seconds in the microwave so it’s easier to work with, then add the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.
Next, in a shallow dish, Combine all of the ‘crust’ ingredients and mix together, until well combined.
Then, in a small mixing bowl, use a fork and mash the cheese into a paste. Roll the cheese with your hands into 6 even-sized balls (you can do 9-12 if you want smaller bites). It will be a little tacky/sticky but you want it to be that way for rolling in the panko crust. Roll the cheese in the panko crumb mixture to completely coat them and then set them aside to rest for about 10 minutes (or the crust may not stay on the cheese when frying).
In a deep cast iron skillet (or a deep fat fryer), bring your oil up to 375 degrees and then, a few at a time, gently place the cheese balls in the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning if necessary. Remove from the pan and place on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Serve warm with the dipping sauce.