Hi! How the heck are you? Me? I’m sick. Sicky sick sick. I’ve been around kids for two weeks now, so it’s about time their germs take over my body, but knowing that doesn’t make me any less sick. Or resentful that my weekend is spent alternating between tea, Dayquil and Nyquil.
Later, I might try to burn it out again with my Spicy Cajun Pasta but for right now, let’s discuss something that cures all manner of illness. Let’s talk about frying. And cheese. And because we’re healthy, maybe some zucchini.
When I was in high-school I worked at the town’s Country Club pool as a cabana girl. My tasks mostly included refilling the iced tea cooler, making milkshakes, and serving up orders of “cheese sticks.” When I think back, eating fried cheese in your bathing suit poolside doesn’t sound appealing in the least bit, but boy were they popular. I can’t eat Mozzarella sticks without thinking about my tenure as a cabana girl.
Let’s fry some cheese!
First, I set up my frying assembly line, which proved to be quite the balancing act considering my lack of counter space. Eggs, flour, and seasoned bread crumbs:
Next, I unwrapped some string cheese and cut them in half. To bread the cheese, I rolled them in flour, then dipped them in eggs, then covered them in bread crumbs. There they are above the breading station! When they were all breaded, I stuck them in the freezer for about 30 minutes just to firm up the cheese so it wouldn’t explode while cooking. When they were done flash freezing, I heated some oil in my heavy cast iron skillet until it sizzled when a drop of water was added. Then I fried the cheese!
I let them fry on one side for about 1 minute, until golden brown, then I flipped them over and fried the other side.
I did this in batches and drained the finished cheese sticks on a paper-towel lined plate.
When they were finished, I had some extra flour and some zucchini that I needed to use, so I decided to fry them too. I mean, when we’re talking about frying, more is more, right? Right.
To do this, I cut the zucchini into spears, rolled them in flour, dipped them in egg, and then rolled them again in flour. I fried them until golden brown like I did the mozzarella. Bam! Zucchini fries!
I served both with a side of marinara sauce and ranch dressing.
The mozzarella sticks were ooey and gooey just as they should be. They were crispy on the outside and perfectly seasoned, if I do say so myself.
That hand? That hand came over this morning to put a fan in my window because it’s hot in here AND he took my trash out because I’m sick and when I’m sick I turn into an immovable blob. That hand is a good hand and totally deserved the mozzarella sticks he was craving.
I mean I guess I liked them too.
Fried cheese? What’s not to like?
Here’s the recipe!
Fried Mozzarella Sticks
- 1 package mozzarella string cheese, unwrapped and cut in half
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (more, if needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Canola oil
- Marinara sauce for dipping
- Ranch dressing for dipping
- Assemble your breading station by cracking two eggs in a bowl and whisking them together. Pour flour on a plate. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir together to combine.
- Bread the cheese by rolling each piece of cheese in flour, then dip it in the egg, then cover it in bread crumbs. Set aside on a plate and repeat until all the cheese is breaded. If someone wants to snack on a piece of string cheese before you bread it, that’s ok.
- Put the plate into the freezer for 30 minutes to flash freeze.
- When the cheese has been in the freezer for 30 minutes, heat the oil in a heavy skillet until hot. It should sizzle when you add a drop of water. When the oil is hot, add the cheese, in batches, and fry on one side for about 1 minute, or until golden brown. Flip the cheese over and fry it on the other side for another minute until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and continue until all the cheese is fried.
- Serve with marinara and ranch!
And because I like you guys, here’s another one:
- 2 zucchinis, cut into spears
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1/2 cup Canola Oil
- salt and pepper
- Assemble the breading station by whisking the eggs in a bowl and putting the flour on a plate.
- Bread the zucchini by rolling it in flour, then dipping it in egg, then rolling it in flour again. Set aside on a plate.
- Heat oil until hot and sizzles when a drop of water is added.
- Fry the zucchini until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.
- Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper while they are still hot.
- Serve with marinara or ranch! Sound familiar?
Enjoy! Fried food cures all!