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Tasty Mozzarella Sticks

By TheOnlyCoolTim in Culture
Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 02:15:23 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)
Food

Mozzarella sticks are quite delicious. This is a recipe to make your own mozzarella sticks that are better than you will get at any fast food or pizza place and probably better than the appetizers at your local Italian restaurant.


Ingredients:

Flour
Eggs
Seasoned Breadcrumbs
Mozzarella Cheese
Oil
Tomato Sauce (optional)

A discussion of the Cheese:

There are two kinds of mozzarella to consider for our purposes. There is fresh mozzarella, which is quite wet and soft, and is and there is low-moisture mozzarella, which is much drier and somewhat harder. You want to use fresh mozzarella - it tastes much better. However, it is more expensive and might be a little harder to find. In a pinch, you can use low-moisture mozzarella, but you may have to dip the cheese sticks in milk first since it is a drier cheese, and it won't taste as good.

To serve appetizers for five or six people, use half a pound. To make the sticks as a light meal for five or six people or as an appetizer for ten or eleven, use the whole pound.

A discussion of Options:

If you want, you can add things to the breadcrumbs for extra flavor in the coating. I add some crushed red pepper.

The tomato sauce is, of course, for dipping, but these mozzarella sticks are definitely tasty enough to stand on their own.

Preparation:

Cut the cheese into slices one half to three quarters of an inch thick. Cut the slices into sticks.

Pour a few spoonfuls of flour into a plastic bag, followed by the cheese sticks. Shake the bag thoroughly, coating all the sticks.

Break two eggs into a small bowl, whipping them lightly with a fork.

Pour breadcrumbs into another small bowl.

Take cheese sticks from the bag, cover them thoroughly with the egg, and then with the breadcrumbs. Coat the breaded cheese again with egg and another coating of breadcrumbs. You want to make sure the cheese is entirely coated - if there are any spots on the cheese stick that look light, put a little egg on the spot and then some more breadcrumbs.

It is nice to have someone else help you with this - one person manning the egg bowl, the other person using the breadcrumbs bowl. By doing this no one will be sticking egg-coated fingers into the bowl of breadcrumbs, avoiding some of the mess and waste.

You will have to refill the bowls with more eggs and breadcrumbs from time to time. The egg bowl might develop a "sludge" of egg, excess flour, and breadcrumbs which will just get in your way and should be removed. When all your cheese sticks have a nice double coating of breadcrumbs, you are finished.

Cooking:

These have to be fried. A dedicated deep fryer helps greatly here, but they can also be fried in a few inches of oil in a pot or pan over a stove. Make sure you know how to fry safely.

The oil should be quite hot - if you have a deep fryer turn the thermostat up all the way.

The entire batch of sticks should be put into the oil at the same time, or as close as possible. Again, a deep fryer with a basket helps here. Since these cook quickly, if sticks are added thirty seconds apart, they will be finished thirty seconds apart, which isn't good.

They will be done cooking in two or three minutes. Watch for cheese bubbling out of the breadcrumb coating. As soon as any appreciable amount of cheese is showing, bring the sticks out of the oil. Wait too long and you will lose the cheese, getting only an empty shell. This is why they all have to be added at the same time.

Drain on a plate with paper towels. Wait a few minutes to let the oil heat up again before making the next batch. If the oil isn't hot enough, you will start losing your cheese before the coating is properly cooked.

Serving:

These should be eaten, with hot tomato sauce for dipping, as quickly as possible, while the cheese is still deliciously hot and stringy. If you have extra, you should keep them uncooked and refrigerated for later frying, rather than fry them and then try to save them.

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Tasty Mozzarella Sticks | 49 comments (42 topical, 7 editorial, 2 hidden)
my god (1.50 / 8) (#3)
by j1mmy on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 09:49:45 AM EST

thank you. i love mozzarella sticks.

Screw health food (1.00 / 9) (#4)
by paprika on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 11:27:25 AM EST

Mozarella sticks are great. With mozarella sauce. And cheese. And shit I want some mozarella sticks right now.
Im president of the drduck fan club
Breadcrumbs (2.57 / 7) (#8)
by fairthought on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 12:14:18 PM EST

Years ago I made a few attempts at cheese sticks, but it was challenging getting the desired quantity of breadcrumbs to stick to the cheese.  I didn't use the "fresh" mozzarella, nor did I dip the cheese in flour first.  Would either of these affect how the breadcrumbs stick?  Or is it more a case of skillful egg application?  Any pointers?

Also, I preferred mine baked rather than fried.  I had less of a problem with the limited breadcrumbs falling off during the cooking process.  I also prefer the cleaner taste of the baked cheesesticks, although it can be a challenge getting them crispy enough.  High temperature for a short time, maybe with a little oil sprayed on to approximate the effects of frying.

Hmmm (3.00 / 4) (#17)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 05:50:45 PM EST

Not using the fresh mozzarella and not using the flour might cause a problem. It's also almost essential to go through the process twice.

The only other thing I can think of is that you needed to stir your egg just a bit more - if you don't mix it up enough it can have a slight tendency to slide off the cheese.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Two coats (none / 3) (#21)
by MSBob on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 01:40:00 AM EST

The trick is to do two coats of breadcrumbs. Dip your cheese in the egg once and roll it in breadcrumbs and then dip it in the egg again and likewise cover it with breadcumbs. That should be more than enough for deep fry or shallow fry.

Incidentally I find this stuff repulsive. No idea how people can eat that.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
yes (none / 2) (#23)
by joschi on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 03:58:43 AM EST

this is the same basic batter process that i make schnitzel with, and you need the flour to get everything sticking well to get a nice even battering.

[ Parent ]
Baking... (none / 1) (#30)
by Gailin on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 04:13:17 PM EST

If I may make a suggestion, try broiling instead.  Place the rack 4-5 inches (if applicable) below your broiler and keep a careful eye on them since you dont have a definite cooktime.  Also make sure to flip them over midway through cooking.  

I use this method all the time on breaded seafood in lieu of frying.  It helps a lot in providing a nice crispy texture.

G

[ Parent ]

K5 is starting to make me (1.00 / 5) (#9)
by paprika on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 12:37:46 PM EST

Hungrier

Is it now a repository of recipes?

I'm the President of the drduck Fan Club.

Do you think it's time I changed my sig (none / 1) (#20)
by Greener on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 12:18:49 AM EST

to Kuro5hin - Recipies and Fiction, from the trenches

[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 0) (#24)
by paprika on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 04:24:23 AM EST


Kucinich is a bitch -paprika
[ Parent ]

Mozarrella Sticks, (1.42 / 7) (#11)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 01:31:07 PM EST

Or as I like to call them, "MoSi", are delicious. A fun an easy cheese to use over a real Mozarrella is the children's favourite schooltime snack, string cheese. I voted this article up because it describes the home preparation of a delicacy that is normally only available in pizzarias and joints like TGI Friday's.


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Make it this way, (none / 2) (#13)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 05:14:25 PM EST

Using the quality mozzarella, and it will be way better than anything from TGI Friday's.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

k (none / 2) (#15)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 05:26:04 PM EST




Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
-1, need I say why? Alright, I will... (1.33 / 12) (#14)
by Arduinothor The Vile on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 05:21:16 PM EST

Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Emeril.

What do they all have in common?

I hate them. All three of them.


Adruinothor The Vile
"How about a Scoop recipe site called epikuriou5.com?"

also (none / 0) (#33)
by horny smurf on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 07:44:31 PM EST

all 3 are ugly women.

PS - what the fuck is up with that troll Emeril? He's some kind of hunchback, and must have had a nasty stroke, cause he talks out of half his mouth. Given the amount of pork fat he eats, it's surprising he hasn't had more heart attacks. Of course, I bet the kitchen isn't the only place he uses lard, but that's another story.

And what's the story behind his studio audience? The last time I saw so many mouth-breathing missing-links, welfare mothers, and dopey housewives was when Jerry Springer broadcasted live from Walmart. He puts salt and pepper on a microwave pizza and they cheer like he just cured cancer.

[ Parent ]

BAM! (none / 1) (#34)
by j1mmy on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 08:42:50 PM EST

I saw an episode once where they cheered for garlic. I didn't want to understand, so I watched something else.

[ Parent ]
BAM n/t (none / 0) (#37)
by darqchild on Tue Jan 06, 2004 at 10:49:40 AM EST



~~~
Death is God's way of telling you not to be such a smartass.
[ Parent ]
Nyar!!11# (1.07 / 13) (#16)
by paprika on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 05:43:34 PM EST

Pirates of the mozarella stick batallion ahoy yarrr

I'm the President of the drduck Fan Club.

+1 FP, article is about deep fried cheese -nt- (1.25 / 4) (#18)
by sticky on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 09:32:34 PM EST




Don't eat the shrimp.---God
Cheese Sticks (1.18 / 11) (#19)
by JayGarner on Sun Jan 04, 2004 at 11:32:20 PM EST

When I was in Korea our platoon was pinned down, and all I could think about was Mom's Fried Mozzerella Sticks. When my buddy ended up face down in the muck, I blocked it out and kept thinking of the sticks. While I was a pow, I made some fake cheese sticks out of some rats I caught. A guard caught me with them, and he beat the stuffing out of me. I might have died, had he not already spent a lot of his energy on the guy he caught with the home made American Flag stuffed up his ass.

Today, my mother lives in some shitty home while her friend from the sewing circle who stole the idea, Elizabeth Friday, spends her days thinking of which charities to give her spare millions to. It burns my butt, I assure you.

I completely agree. (1.00 / 6) (#25)
by tkatchev on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 04:57:43 AM EST

Also, I really, really hate Americans and Jews.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Who said anything about Jews? nt (none / 0) (#35)
by JayGarner on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 08:47:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Say what? (1.20 / 5) (#26)
by lowmagnet on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 07:31:01 AM EST

You started the whole article begging the question: "Mozzarella sticks are quite delicious."

You assume that people actually universally like mozzarella sticks. I for one absolutely loathe them. I cannot think of a taste saltier, tarter or nastier than a mozzarella stick. They are to be avoided!

Beside that, I'm lactose intolerant, you insensitive clod!

how low is the lactose content (none / 1) (#27)
by the sixth replicant on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 07:34:00 AM EST

in buffalo milk mozzarella? i wonder how many people know about real mozzarella, and not the cheap yellow shit on pizza

ciao

[ Parent ]

Yellow? (none / 0) (#28)
by hardburn on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 01:22:21 PM EST

I don't normally defend Pizza Hut and its ilk, but I don't remember seeing yellow mozzarella, either. Perhaps your town's Pizza Hut got its milk out of the wrong part of the cow?


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
Mozzarella Cheese Milk (none / 0) (#29)
by Dr Caleb on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 01:55:37 PM EST

comes from a Buffalo. "Part Skim" mozzarella is diluted with Cow's milk. That's what he was trying to get at.

Perhaps he was confusing Cheddar with Mozzarella. Most big pizza places used 'processed' cheeses rather than the real thing.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

buffalo (none / 1) (#32)
by horny smurf on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 07:35:04 PM EST

Water buffalo, actually, which is quite different than an american buffalo (bison).

I've seen 3 kinds of mozzarella - the hard stuff (may come shredded, in a block, or as string), low moisture content, made with skim (cow) milk.

A round, semi moist blob made from cow milk, usually wrapped in plastic, though there are a couple wisconsin cheeseries that sell it in tubs of water. Kind of rubbery.

The real deal, usually imported from italy, made from water buffalo, usually expensive, comes in a tub of water. Softer texture, might make you cream your pants.

[ Parent ]

i distinctly remember mozzarella... (none / 1) (#41)
by the sixth replicant on Wed Jan 07, 2004 at 12:34:11 PM EST

...for consumption by anglo-saxons was usually yellow (now italians *do* use a yellow-ish mozzarella for their pizzas as well as the buffalo milk mozzarella - which most people from Napoli use).

But, maybe some aussies can defend me, i'm pretty sure that (at least twenty years ago) no-one used white mozzarella.

but that's just my perception - yes i know the difference now since living in italy!

ciao

[ Parent ]

You know not mozzarella (none / 1) (#39)
by leviramsey on Tue Jan 06, 2004 at 11:29:48 PM EST

I quote from the authority, Steven Jenkins, and his Cheese Primer:

Cow's milk can also be used to make Mozzarella, and indeed, vast quantities of it are made in Campania and Apulia (as well as throughout Italy) -- at about half the price of the water buffalo type. But to me, Mozzarella made from buffalo milk is the finer of the two: it is sweeter and has a more recognizable depth of flavor that cow's-milk Mozzarella simply doesn't have. It also reveals... a slightly greenish-yellow tint.

Mozzarella is supposed to be yellowish... indeed, the fake Mozzarella is the white pasta filata.

Incidentally, you can generally substitute Scamorza, which is a cow's milk pasta filata from Lombardy for Mozzarella, although it's less moist (and thus chewier) than Mozzarella.



[ Parent ]
the greenish tint (none / 1) (#40)
by the sixth replicant on Wed Jan 07, 2004 at 12:29:36 PM EST

is barely noticable, buffalo milk mozarella (from italy - i never talk about anywhere else :) is pretty much white in most lighting conditions

[ Parent ]
In Soviet Russia, (1.22 / 9) (#31)
by bjlhct on Mon Jan 05, 2004 at 07:26:12 PM EST

the Mozzarella Stick makes up YOU!

*
[kur0(or)5hin http://www.kuro5hin.org/intelligence] - drowning your sorrows in intellectualism
the best cheese to use (none / 1) (#36)
by darqchild on Tue Jan 06, 2004 at 10:46:33 AM EST

I recommend the *real* stuff, if you can afford it.

Look for italian Buffalo Mozzarella ( Mozzarella Bufala).  The trick is to cut the cheese in half, and let it sit on a dry absorbant cloth for a few hours prior to slicing, so that it becomes firm enough to work with

~~~
Death is God's way of telling you not to be such a smartass.

Notice: (none / 3) (#38)
by TheBeardedScorpion on Tue Jan 06, 2004 at 06:18:38 PM EST

The correct way to eat these is by dipping them in ranch dressing, not in tomato sauce.

Dipping Sauce for Cheese Sticks (none / 0) (#44)
by cal91974 on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 12:14:35 PM EST

I don't think it matters. I was taught and have always dipped them in tomato sauce

[ Parent ]
Tomato sauce tastes funny to me (none / 1) (#46)
by TheBeardedScorpion on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 09:56:00 PM EST

I have dipped them in ranch my whole life, and on the few occasions I have been somewhere that only had tomato sauce, I did not derive as much pleasure from them. I think you need the tangy creamy flavor of the ranch to really make them outstanding.

[ Parent ]
Similar Dish: Tequeños (none / 1) (#42)
by jecouto on Wed Jan 07, 2004 at 03:11:05 PM EST

There is very similar (and very delicious) Venezuelan dish called Tequeños. In short, you cuts some sticks of white cheese (mozzarella would do it, you are looking for white & soft cheese but not creamy), you make some dough, cut long stripes of it and use them to wrap the sticks completly, and fry them

One recipe at:
http://members.tripod.com/~cocinavzla/english/tequenos-english.html

and one look at them at:
http://www.eltequeno.com/presentaciones.htm

I just cant have enough of them.

Jesús Couto F.


Lumpia Wrappers... (none / 1) (#43)
by Psyber on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 02:29:47 AM EST

are my prefered substitute for all the mess and hastle of the egg and breadcrumbs. For those of you who don't make it to the local Asian-mart Lumpia is an ultra-thin, see-through, crepe-like, wrapper, similar to fila dough, used in the phillipines (you can find them in the freezer section). If your feeling particulary lazy simply drop a string cheese stick on a thawed wrapper and wrap it like a burrito. The wrappers a large enough to accomidate the whole cheese stick. Seal the loose end with a drop of water and fry to golden perfection. I do highly recommend the fresh Mozzarella though it is sooooooooooooo much better than the low-moisture junk. Another variation is pepper jack wrapped in a lumpia wrapper and misted with water then rolled in masa (corn) flour for a simulated Mexican flair.

[ Parent ]
Wow, I just tried making this (none / 2) (#45)
by tzanger on Thu Jan 08, 2004 at 10:48:25 PM EST

Thanks for posting the recipe...  not bad for a first shot (my trying it, not the article).  I used "italian seasoned" breadcrumbs and a slab of the still cheap, but on the more expensive side of cheap mozerella.

Couple tips based on what I did:

  • don't go too thick on the mozerella sticks.  1/2" square cross-section would be PLENTY, I'd even think of 3/8, but 1/4 I think is too thin...  I'm gonna be bunged up for a week now and I only made about six 2-3" sticks.  :-)
  • you want the eggs to be the same consistency as what you'd beat them to if you were making an omlette -- well beaten.  Otherwise the white will stick more to itself in the bowl instead of the cheese and mostly pull itself off -- well coated is much better, and beating the crap out of the egg seems to make it stick to everything but itself.  
  • I broiled mine, no oil, for ~3 mins, flip, 2mins @ 350oF.  I knew they were ready when the cheese started to ooze out the ends.  I think a little lower temp with a little longer cook time per side would be better.  They're edible and very good though.
  • Look for more strongly seasoned breadcrumbs.  These are good but I think a slightly stronger seasoning would do wonders for this recipe.  coarser breadcrumbs would give it some awesome texture, too.  (maybe fine crumbs for first coat, coarse for second?)
  • take the cheese sticks and soak them in milk if you're not using the "wet" mozzarella.  Flour sticks very good and the whole egg/crumb/egg/crumb/pan does not get very messy, so long as the egg is well beaten.
I want to give this a shot with havarti cheese; I've never really liked mozzarella that much but yes, these are definitely very good mozzarella sticks.  :-)  

Thanks again for posting the article!

"Make sure you know how to fry safely." (none / 2) (#47)
by anonymous cowerd on Fri Jan 09, 2004 at 10:23:25 PM EST

You should see this scar I've got on the back of my left hand. When I splashed it with the hot oil and the skin came off this 3" x 1-1/2" section, I kept putting aloe lotion from the drug store on the spot. That was the kind of aloe they sell with bright mint-green color dye in it so it will look like the outside of an aloe plant (the stuff in the middle is translucent and colorless). For a few weeks after the skin grew back the scar was dyed green, almost exactly the shape of Czechoslovakia on that kind of map or globe where neighboring coutries are depicted in contrasting bright primary colors. I was considering getting a tattoo:

   Prague
*

but then the dye faded away.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

A drowning man asks for pears from the willow tree.

RE: Mozzarella Sticks (none / 0) (#48)
by jesusreligion on Sun Jan 11, 2004 at 10:28:58 PM EST

They are delicious, although I had a learning curve at first making them...especially with the breading part of it.
LC
oil temperature (none / 0) (#49)
by Thorak on Sat Feb 14, 2004 at 01:00:34 PM EST

if you are frying in a pan, an easy way to determin if your oil has the correct temperature, is to put the end of a wooden cooking spoon in the oil while heating up. when it begins to form bubbles on the wood, the oil is hot enough.

Tasty Mozzarella Sticks | 49 comments (42 topical, 7 editorial, 2 hidden)
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