Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Crispy Mozzarella Sticks - A Perfect Football Food

My picture is lost!! I'll add one as soon as I make these again...which shouldn't be too long. :)

These mozzarella sticks come out of the oil crunchy, gooey and just about perfect.  My husband, who enjoys his share of mozzarella sticks when we go out, enjoys these just as much.  I think they're even better.  Don't skimp or extend the freezer waiting time, though, 30 minutes is perfect to keep the cheese gooey, but inside of the breading.  If you do want to make them ahead of time and store them in the freezer, they are best when they are allowed to sit out 15-30 minutes before frying.  

Mozzarella Sticks

16 pieces string cheese, wrappers removed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

peanut or canola oil, for frying (I prefer the peanut oil, but either is fine)

Slice the string cheese in half. Place the flour in a small bowl. In another separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs with the milk to combine. To assemble, one by one, dust the cheese in the flour, tapping the excess off. Next, dip the cheese in the egg mixture, covering completely. Then lastly, roll the cheese in the panko crumb mixture. Gently remove and place on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to flash freeze.

To cook, fill a medium saucepan with the oil until it reaches a height of about 1 inch. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. (*An easy check to see if it's ready - stick the end of a wooden utensil on the bottom, if it starts to bubble almost immediately, the oil is ready.  Alternately, you can put a small piece of bread in there.  If it starts to fry, you're good to go.) 

When hot, add the mozzarella sticks, a few pieces at a time.  Don't overcrowd your pan, or you'll lower the temperature of the oil too much, that will result in your mozzarella sticks absorbing too much oil.  Watch closely and turn over to evenly brown, cooking less than 2 minutes. Do not allow the cheese to bubble and leak. Remove and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve with warm marinara sauce, if desired.

Salsa Fresca

I love salsa fresca...just some veggies thrown together in the food processor, with the addition of a lot of lime juice.  I prefer my salsa very "limey", and a fairly smooth consistency.  I like that this everything in this salsa is small, and the great thing about recipes like this - you can totally adjust the ingredients to your own taste.  Not enough onion?  Add more.  Too much lime?  Use less.  The heat of the salsa depends on how many serrano peppers you use.  Or you could use jalapeños, or I suppose even habaneros, it's completely up to you.  I like mine pretty hot, so I used 3 serranos.  Start with one, you can always taste it and add more.  Enjoy!

Salsa Fresca

1/3 cup cilantro
1/2 onion
2- 3 cloves garlic
1-4 serrano peppers, to your heat preference
2 lbs Roma tomatoes
1/2-2/3 cup lime juice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp garlic salt

Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, and peppers to a food processor or blender.  Process until smooth, then add remaning ingredients.  Process until it reaches your desired consistency.  Taste, adjust seasonings, serve with tortilla chips.

©2009 Epicuriosities | by TNB