Friday, December 31, 2010

1 Gluten Free Mozzarella Sticks

When you go on a gluten-free diet, you occasionally get cravings for food that you never really liked, or crave when you smell it and confuse its hot, greasy unhealthiness as the best thing on earth. For me, mozzarella sticks are one of those smells; the mix of fried breading and melted mozzarella paired with the perfect marinara sounds and smells intoxicating. So for a final recipe before New Year's, I wanted to adapt this appetizer for the gluten-free crowd. Also, this is an awesome recipe to prepare for guests if you're hosting a party, or to bring to any parties if you want to bring something a little different. I hope you enjoy!

Serving Size: 12 people
Makes: 12 3/4 x 3/4 mozzarella sticks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 minutes per stick, overall 20 minutes

-1 lb mozzarella cheese block, cut inton 3/4 inch x 3/4 inch sticks
-4 eggs
-2 tbsp milk
-1 cup canola oil
-1/8 cup rice flour
-2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs, or milled corn if you cannot find gluten-free breadcrumbs
-pinch salt and pepper
-1 tsp parsley
-3/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp basil
-1/4 tsp thyme
-3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Pour the oil into a deep pan, and heat on the stove-top to medium heat.
2. Pour the flour onto a small plate.
3. In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs and the milk.
4. Pour all other ingredients, aside from the mozzarella sticks, into another shallow dish. Mix well.
5. Test the oil if it is ready: take a pinch of the crumb mixture and drop into the oil. If the crumbs start to sizzle in the oil, then the oil is hot and ready.
6. (This step is shown in the video below). Take a mozzarella stick, and roll it in the flour (make sure to cover the ends). Then roll the stick in the egg mix, and roll in the crumbs, covering completely. Roll the stick in egg and crumb mixture again, covering all of the stick with the crumbs. (This ensures a crispy outer shell of breading, and minimizes cheese leakage while cooking.) Gently pick up the cheese-stick, and place on end of the stick into the oil, followed by the other. You do this method to ensure that oil does not splash back onto your hand.

6. Cook on each side for about a minute, or until the outside of the stick is browned.
7. Remove from oil, and place on a plate with paper towels. Tab the excess oil off, and transfer to a plate without paper towels (if you leave it on the paper towels, the cheese will stick to the towel).
8. Serve the sticks with your favorite marinara sauce, and enjoy!

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