Monday, March 18, 2013
Fried Mozzarella Sticks
There is more than a bit of irony in the fact that a couple of steaks were sitting on my counter when I went in to the computer to look for a recipe. While there I hit my work email and got my March Secret Recipe Club assignment. A vegan blog. Called We Heart Vegan. OMG what would I do??? Of all things, I am absolutely not vegan. Have no desire to ever cook vegan. But, the whole idea of the Secret Recipe Club is to meet other bloggers and hopefully try things you'd not have tried on your own. So, I soldiered on. Read the recipes. Looked at the photos. And, realized all Brittany was doing was substituting vegan ingredients for the everyday ingredients I use. I could do this. I could substtute my everyday ingredients and take a vegan recipe and turn it into something I'd make regularly. Reverse engineering if you will. Now, please don't get me wrong. I understand why some folks are vegan and vegetarian and pescatarian and etc. I'm just not one of those folks.
I printed half a dozen recipes. The Roman Style Artichoke Hearts looked amazing. But they were a SRC post. Bummer. Ditto the Basil Pesto Hummus and the Chipotle Kale Chips. Ah ha! Fried mozzarella strips. My kind of food. One of those things I had in the freezer when I was single. A jar of pizza sauce and a few fried mozzarella strips and I had dinner. How much fun would it be to make these for myself? Oh, you mean I need to share with Connie? Ok, fine. You're right. I do love him. And, I do try to share. I've even showed him where the box of mint meltaways from Marianne is.
The first batch was very good. Not much to look at but very good. I decided to freeze the second batch overnight and see how that worked. Well, not so well. I think two things happened. One, my oil wasn't hot enough to start with and two, I put too many frozen mozzarella sticks in all at once. I think next time I'll use a saucepan and fry just a couple at a time and deep fry them. The flavors were FABULOUS! The photo though tells the tale. Way too melty. Brittany's photo is so much better. Here's where you can hop over to her blog and see her original recipe: Mozzarella Sticks.
Here's how to make them:
1 10oz block mozzarella cheese
vegetable oil for frying
for the batter:
1/2 c flour
1/2 c water
1 T cornmeal
1 T cornstarch
1/2 t garlic powder
for the bread crumbs:
1 c panko
1/2 t salt
1/2 t parsley
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t dried basil
Marinara sauce for dipping (we use Rao's because it's the best in our book)
Combine the batter ingredients and mix well.
You'll want the mixture to have the consistency of pancake batter so add water accordingly. Use a wide, shallow bowl.
In another wide, shallow bowl, combine the bread crumb ingredients. Mix well.
Cut the mozzarella into sticks. About 1/2" per side is good.
Dip the sticks into the batter then roll them into the crumbs. Lay them on a baking rack. Once all of the sticks are coated, pop the rack into your freezer for at least an hour.
Heat your oil. It has to be REALLY hot and you don't want to add too many sticks at once. Fry the sticks for about six minutes then flip them and fry until they're evenly browned.
Serve with marinara sauce.
Adapted from We Heart Vegan. Thank you Brittany for such an enjoyable recipe! I'll be back to try the others :-)
Now, if you'd like to see what the other folks made for Secret Recipe Club, here's where you start: