You know those little deep fried mozzarella sticks that seem to be on the appetizer list at most chain restaurants these days? Well, you can make your own version as quick as a wink.
Use almost any cheese except the really hard kind like parmesan, and dredge it in flour, followed by an egg wash. Then dip it into panko crumbs or even Italian flavored breadcrumbs and set the breaded chunk on a wire rack and refrigerate for a minimum 20 minutes to set the coating. Fried in a small amount of oil in a non-stick pan until golden and crisp, the cheese chunks make great croutons for added crunch on a steak salad like the one we had last night.
The little round shapes are actually iddy biddy mozzarella balls, flattened out, dredged and fried till crispy. They happen to take but a minute to brown until golden and they're all creamy and runny and gooey on the inside. In addition, the long skinny piece of crunchy goodness is actually a wedge of triple cream brie, all duded up and sittin' pretty because brie happens to go really well with the bacon, onion, beer jam we made while we were on the coast and brought back to Tucson on dry ice.
Cambazola or Saga Blue, a Danish brie/blue cross, would be perfect done this way too and match particularly well with chunks of grilled skirt steak; however, any salad would benefit from a little fried cheese. Imagine a fresh ripe pear on a bed of greens, studded with red onion and toasted walnuts, drizzled with a maple vinaigrette and garnished with a cheese crouton. Or how about a little fresh apple, with bacon and a medium or sharp cheddar? Why, my mouth is watering as we speak!
The crunchy addition to our salads last night made us feel much less deprived as we continue on our post vacation pound pare down moderation plan. The only trouble is I had a huge craving for ice cream after dinner but was saved by a freezer currently empty of the stuff. Bummer eh?
A year ago - Dilled Chicken and Potato Salad
Two year's ago - White Chocolate Caramel Pound Cake