Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stick It

So in honor of finals week, I'm doing a post on one of the most classic comfort foods of all time: the mozzarella stick.

There really are few things that compare to the crispy, gooey glory that is a deep-fried ball of cheese covered in Italian breadcrumbs and then dunked in marinara sauce. Jesus, I have a food boner just thinking about it.

In other news, you should totally follow @hipstermermaid on Twitter
because he frequently says hilarious stuff like this.
Now it's pretty hard to mess up a mozzarella stick. Even the most miserable of restaurants can get it right.

Actually, I take that back. Sophomore year of high school I went on an ill-fated date with a kid a couple years older than me from our high school. I had just become a vegetarian, so this moron takes me to Buffalo Wild Wings. Not only did I have to suffer through the most pathetic excuse for a salad I had ever encountered (not to mention this kid's company), the mozzarella sticks we ordered as an appetizer came frozen in the middle. Worst. Date. Ever. And in all my 22 years of living, the only time I've ever seen mozzarella sticks get messed up.

But I digress.

Although your life currently revolves around frantically cramming an entire semester's worth of knowledge into your heads and chugging Red Bull like it's water, you may actually get hungry when you come down from that addy binge.

And as I learned the hard way yesterday, delivery food is absurdly slow during finals week. Case in point: my friend and I ordered sushi from a restaurant literally 3 blocks away and it took two hours to get to us. TWO HOURS. And I know you're thinking, "You lazy pieces of shit why didn't you just walk?" To answer that very valid question, I submit the excuse that it was cold and rainy.

So getting to the point: make your own mozzarella sticks tonight. It takes literally 10 minutes max, and you have instant comfort food to distract you from the misery that is final exams. The only semi-tricky part is that the cheese sticks have to be frozen all the way through or they'll just melt into mush when you pan fry them. But they're so small it hardly takes more than a couple hours.

Anyway, as the bible says, man shall not live on Easy Mac alone but on delicious homemade comfort food.

 Ingredients (as an appetizer, for 3):

5 part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks, frozen solid
1/2 c. Italian flavored breadcrumbs (or if you only have plain, add 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning and a couple grinds of black pepper)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c. vegetable oil
Marinara sauce for dipping

1. Cut the mozzarella sticks into bite size chunks

2. Dunk the mozzarella chunks first into the egg wash, then roll them in the bread crumbs, making sure the entire surface is evenly covered.

3. In a small sauteé pan, heat about half the oil over medium heat. You don't want the oil or the pan to be too hot or the breadcrumbs will just burn.

4. Working in batches, fry the mozzarella bites for just about 30-45 seconds on each side, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Drain on a paper towel before serving.