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.
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 breadcrumbs ever since they became more widely available in our supermarkets. 

Yes, y'all... I'm going back the future here for the future you who shows up here and says... "what?" 

Believe it or not, once upon a time, not so long before this, it was near impossible to find panko breadcrumbs in any grocery store. You really had to seek them out in a specialty food store. I know! Hard to believe isn't it, but it's true, and yes, now I'm feeling OLD!!

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 breadcrumbs 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. 

Nothing much to this y'all!  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 breadcrumbs in the third bowl.

Roll the cheese sticks first in the flour, then dip into the egg wash, roll in the breadcrumbs and place onto the plate.

Repeat with all of the cheese sticks.

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, but just use whatever your favorite dipping sauce is.

A delicious finger food snack, perfect for snacking on while watching tv or the football game - hope you enjoy them!

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