Mozzarella sticks are my favorite appetizers. They are always on top of my list whenever I eat out. For this reason I decided to make some at home. It may be a bit tricky to keep the coating on. This is why it is best to freeze them to make sure that the cheese does not leak out. I suggest that you try it with a few sticks first. If you need to coat the mozzarella again, you can do so with more breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
These melt in your mouth cheese sticks are best eaten with marinara sauce. I prefer the sauce cold, but you can also re-heat it if desired. I also like the hint of spiciness thus the dash of paprika, but you can do without this and add a dash of ground pepper instead.
For the batter:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
For the mozzarella sticks:
1 1/2 cups Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
2 (16-ounce) blocks pasteurized mozzarella
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
For the marinara sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 32 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
Cut the mozzarella into 1/2 inch sticks and then freeze them for an hour or overnight.
To prepare the marinara sauce, heat the oil in a casserole pot or saucepan. Sauté the garlic and
onions until he onions are translucent, around 2-4 minutes. Add the celery and the carrots. Cook it for another 8-10 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomatoes and add the bay leaves. Let it simmer for 30-40 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and discard them. Let the sauce cool and then refrigerate.
Combine the flour, corn flour, oregano, paprika and water in a medium sized bowl. Mix to form a batter and season it with salt. Set aside.
Next, combine the Parmesan and the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. After place it on a flat plate.
Dip the mozzarella sticks in batter and then let the excess batter drip off. Coat the battered mozzarella in the breadcrumbs mixture and then repeat the process to double coat the cheese. Place the mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet and freeze them for another 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Heat the oil in a frying pan or deep fryer and then fry the frozen mozzarella sticks until golden brown. Transfer the cooked mozzarella on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil. Serve immediately with the marinara sauce.
Photo Courtesy Of: irrezolut