Friday, October 1, 2010

Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

A combination of seasoned dry bread crumbs and panko make for some yummy fried cheese sticks! Try them with a super easy homemade marinara sauce.

Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

I have really been loving the panko bread crumbs ever since they became more widely available in our supermarkets.  Great for topping casseroles or on stuffed squash, they add such a nice crunch to dishes where you would have normally used a soft or dried bread crumb before, and I like crunch!  I still wanted to use the Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs here for the flavor, so I settled on using a bit of both, and it worked out great.

For these I just used the good ole snackin' string cheese and cut them in half. The hardest part of that is unwrapping each stick, but if you have a few little sous chefs running around in your household, that'd be a great job for them.  I tried them in both the deep fryer and a skillet, and while the skillet was much less messy, I liked the way that they fried up much better in the deep fryer, though be warned. The panko will likely leave behind a bit of a mess in your deep fryer oil.

Whichever way you choose, make sure to use fresh oil, and watch them closely because they literally only take seconds to brown up and if you go a millisecond too long, they will burst and ooze out cheese.  Be sure to drain them on a rack, because some cheese is likely to seep out anyway and will cause them to stick to paper towels.

I made up a very simple Rotel marinara dipping sauce that was just perfect for these.  A delicious finger food snack, perfect for snacking on while watching tv or the football game - hope you enjoy them!

Recipe: Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep/Cook time: 15 min | Yield: 24 pieces

  • 12 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole/Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Cooking oil for pan or deep frying
  • Marinara Dipping Sauce (click link for recipe)

Place a layer of parchment or nonstick foil on a sheet pan. Cut each of the cheese sticks in half crosswise, place on pan and freeze for 2 hours.

Heat enough canola oil in a skillet to completely cover cheese sticks or preheat a deep fryer to 360 degrees. Set up three bowls and a plate; place the flour and Cajun seasoning in the first bowl, beat together the egg and water in the second bowl, and mix together both of the bread crumbs in the third bowl.

Roll the cheese sticks first in the flour, then dip into the egg wash, roll in the bread crumbs and place onto the plate. Repeat with all of the cheese sticks. Place a rack over a tray of paper towels.

Drop several sticks into the hot oil, taking care not to overcrowd. Drop and fry (or cook and turn if using a skillet) only about 15-20 seconds total, or until light golden brown. Keep an eye on them because if you go too long the cheese will ooze out! Remove from the fryer and place onto the rack to drain.

Serve immediately with marinara dipping sauce.

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©Deep South Dish
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  1. Mmm, gooey cheese sticks! I'm going to have to make my own sometime, because the ones I ordered with our pizza, had no cheese left inside!

  2. Who doesn't love mozzarella. Full of delicious calories! Love them!

  3. I always enjoy these little fellers when I get them in a restaurant but have never tried making them. I can imagine if I like the restaurant version, I'll have to love these and the Rotel marinara sounds like a good go with.

  4. I've got to try these--we are after all Wisconsin bred and born and love us some cheese!! Thanks for the recipe and have a great weekend!!


  5. I make a similar one that I got from PW. After coating them, put in the freezer for about 30 minutes. It helps the coating stick better. Thanks for reminding me to make these for football game tomorrow!

  6. This looks simple enough. Looks like a winner to me. I love cheese sticks. I am going to look for the "Slap Ya Mama" seasoning. I don't think I have seen that in stores in my area, and I live in the south :). What's all in the seasoning? Great post.
    ~The Southern Cookbook

  7. Thanks y'all - nothing to them BUT they are so good, and very addictive!! ;)

    Really Anne! I know there's some good cheese up that way. Hope you have a wonderful weekend too.

    You're welcome Angela. Yeah, nothing unique here with the fried cheese although my marinara dipping sauce is pretty good. :) These cheesy sticks are so good, but I also forget about them - had a craving for them and that's how they ended up on the blog! Thank you for the reminder about the freezer - I usually just fry them right away and haven't had any problem, but we were discussing that on the Facebook page earlier. Thanks for stopping by!

    Hey Cheryl! I love that SYM!! I use it like a seasoning salt. You can use any Cajun or Creole seasoning where I mention it of course. SYM is out of Ville Platte, Louisiana and we can get it here even at Walmart. It has salt, red pepper, black pepper and garlic - that's it - but it's just a good blend of it all. Love the stuff!!

  8. Oh I could go for some of these right now! I really love that you use those string cheese sticks, what could be easier?

  9. Hi Mary! E-Gads everything looks so darned good here! Eye candy..eye candy!! I tried you apple cake yesterday and both my husband and I absolutely loved it!!!! That caramel glaze on top just stepped it up a notch....deeeelicious! My husband said it was the moistest apple cake he had every had. I did add an extra 1/4 cup of diced apples cause we have so many. It's apple picking time up here in the north ya know! Apple picking and country fairs mean everyone is trying to come up with an apple recipe to enter into the fair! I should have entered yours cause I am sure it would have taken first prize! Thanks Mary...looking forward to grabbing some recipes from you for Thanksgiving too.

  10. Yummy football food, these are some of Trevor's favorites. Especially with a good marinara sauce like your rotel one.


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