My teenage daughter went out to our local TGI Friday with two friends and came back with a big doggie bag. The three skinny girls apparently ordered a platter of appetizers which, of course, they couldn't finish. They probably got tired of eating halfway through. She was pleased to tell us that she's brought us some food and we can have all of them except for the mozzarella stick (just one left). No problem, we'd more than gladly save that for her. Cold mozzarella sticks are not that appealing.
Since she liked it so much, I made some for her. The one I made is an anti-processed food version. It is made of fresh mozzarella and mature cheddar and crusted with panko crumbs. It is the sort of food that us loving Mums give their children. I've made a simple sweet fresh tomato and balsamic vinegar dip that really went well with the cheese and cut back the richness of the crumbs. It is so easy to make that it can be quickly made upon request.
The verdict? Thumbs up, not just from her but also from my cheese hating but crumb loving son who found it so tempting that he just had to try it. Lucky that I've made enough.
250 gms. of fresh mozzarella, roughly shredded
1 cup of grated mature cheddar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. of ground black pepper
panko bread crumbs
Beat one egg in a mixing bowl and add the parsley, garlic, powder, celery salt and black pepper. Mix well.
Add the mozzarella and cheddar cheese and mix again. Shape into fat sticks approximately 3" long and 3/4" in diameter. It doesn't need to be a perfect shape at this point. It is easier to shape when already crumbed.
Dredge in flour and shake off the excess. Beat the eggs. Dip the sticks in the eggs and roll in the breadcrumbs. Dip in the egg again and give it a final roll in breadcrumbs.
Arrange on a tray and freeze for half an hour.
Heat up a frying pan with enough oil for shallow frying. The oil should be medium hot. Fry for just a few minutes until the crust is golden brown and the sticks are puffed. By then the filling will be cooked and melted. Don't cook for too long or the cheese will ooze out.
This will make 12 sticks. Serve with the sweet tomato and balsamic dip.
This can also be frozen up to a month. Cook from frozen.
Sweet tomato and balsamic dip:
1 big, fresh, ripe tomato
1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsps. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
ground black pepper
Cut the tomato in half and grate the flesh. Discard the skin. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and serve with the mozzarella and cheddar sticks.
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