Thursday, August 23, 2018

Chorizo and Poblano-Pimento Cheese Fritters

This is a recipe that we shared at our griddle class at Mannix Pools and Grills last month and it was a big hit. It is a crispy golden fritter that has homemade poblano-pimento cheese and minced chorizo with red pepper jelly sauce.

We got the idea from K Town Tavern here in Knoxville.  See, who says Happy Hour can't be productive?  We were there having drinks and appetizers and tried out their Big Orange Ham and Jam Fritters.  They have chopped country ham, pimento cheese, and panko breadcrumbs.

Big Orange Ham and Jam Fritters at K Town Tavern in Knoxville.
They were the best thing we ate that night and before we left, we were already scheming about how we would make ours.
  • We use cured chorizo to boost the flavor of the pork.
  • For our homemade pimento cheese, we use fire roasted poblano, not just pimento.
  • Instead of deep frying, we flatten our fritters into medallions so that they cook better on a griddle or skillet.
  • To take our red pepper jelly sauce to the next level, we use Albukirky's Red Pepper Jelly.

Chorizo and Poblano Pimento Cheese Fritters

Yield: 18-20 fritters


  • 5 ounces Colby jack cheese; shredded
  • 3 ounces smoked Vermont white cheddar, shredded
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise (Duke's preferred)
  • 1/4 cup roasted red belled pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano; roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon BBQ rub (we used Meat Church Holy Gospel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cured chorizo
  • 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (divided)
  • 1 cup red pepper jelly (we use Albukirky's Red Pepper Jelly)
  • 2 ounces chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or other high-temperature cooking oil


  1. Mix together all ingredients except red pepper jelly, stock, oil, and 1 cup of the panko breadcrumbs.  Roll this mixture into 18-20  small balls.  
  2. Spread the remaining cup of bread crumbs into a small plate.  Press each of the balls into the breadcrumbs on each side, flattening the balls into 1/2-inch thick medallions.  Refrigerate these for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the red pepper jelly sauce.  Heat the jelly and chicken stock over medium heat and stir until combined.  Keep warm.
  4. Preheat a griddle or skillet to 350°f.  Once at temperature, add the oil and wait for it to begin to shimmer.
  5. Place the medallions on the griddle or skillet and cook until golden brown on each side, about 1-2 minutes.  You can do this in a few small batches or all at once if your griddle is big enough.
  6. Remove from heat and rest on a raised cooling rack for just 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Serve fritters hot topped with the red pepper jelly.  Feel free to garnish with chopped green onions or finely chopped cilantro.


  • Cheeses - You can use whatever cheese blends that you like but we like to use a mix of a mild cheese (Colby jack, Monterey jack, etc) and a sharp cheddar.  The cheddar we used was 3-year-old Vermont white cheddar that we cold smoked at home.
  • Chorizo - This has to be cured chorizo (Spanish, Portuguese), not raw (Mexican).  If you can't find cured chorizo, use another cured/cooked sausage.
  • Albukirky's Red Pepper Jelly - You can use Braswell's but their flavor isn't as strong and it has smaller bits of red pepper in it.  You may have to adjust the proportions a bit.