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Friday, August 30, 2013

Mozzarella & Zucchini Sticks

I'm not sure if it is a Midwest thing, but fried cheese and fried veggies seem to be on every menu in every restaurant.  

I clearly remember eating fried cheese balls after every Friday night football game at a restaurant called Fireside in my hometown.  My parents would meet their friends for a drink after the game and I'd tag along, bringing a friend.  We'd make our own table at the Pac-Man game and eat our cheese balls drenched in ketchup.

Fun times we had here in Iowa, right??!!

I then graduated to fried mozzarella sticks and later in life {much later, probably college}we ventured into fried veggies {mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.}  What was even better was if you found a "combo" basket on a menu with a little bit of everything.

All of these items were found in my kitchen when I got home from work yesterday.  Minus the panko that I picked up on the way home.  These don't take much - flour, egg {or oil}, panko breadcrumbs, string cheese and zucchini.

That's it.

Oh!  And marinara sauce to dip it in.  Because well, that is a MUST.

Mozzarella & Zucchini Sticks
8 pieces of string cheese, cut in half
1 zucchini, cut into strips/blocks
1 c. flour
2 eggs or 2 c. olive oil
2 c. seasoned panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease two large baking sheets.  Make a dredging station, place flour, eggs/oil and panko in three separate bowls.

Take each piece, rolling in flour, dipping in egg or oil and coating in panko.  Place on the cookie sheet.  

Bake the zucchini for 25 minutes.  Bake the cheese for 5 minutes {seriously, 5 minutes ONLY, otherwise you will have a melted cheese blob - trust me, I didn't follow directions on the first batch}.  Serve warm with marinara sauce.

And if you are worried about the zucchini being too watery - use this method.

Now you can fry these bad boys.  They'd probably be even better.  Not better for you, but extra crispy.  I'll leave that up to you.  I don't know your arteries on a personal level.


And for a little update on the future Iowa Food/Lifestyle Blogger Meet-up.  It certainly is a work IN progress.  These little bloggers keep coming out of the woodwork.  Who knew Iowa had so many bloggers? Just when I think my list is complete, someone emails me someone else.

It is going to FUN.  I want to make it FUN.

Stay tuned!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I love you blog and have been reading silently for a while now. :)

    If you freeze the cheese sticks for at least 15 minutes (longer is better, actually) before doing these, you can actually bake them for longer and get a crunchier, more brown coating. I freeze them until solid and they'll bake for about 10 minutes which is perfect (for my oven) to get hot, gooey cheese encased in a crunchy crust.

  2. julieseatsandtreatsAugust 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Same thing in Minnesota! I even have the Panko crumbs. Can't wait to try it!

  3. Great tip Sarrah! You are right freezing a bit does help. I did actually throw these in the freezer for a few minutes, but failed to put that in the directions. Thanks for reading!

  4. If you do ever decide to deep fry these, make the cheese sticks in the morning - dip them, batter, etc., then put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Then go straight from the freezer to the fryer - the outside will be crispy without the cheese melting too fast. Not sure how i know that! :D

    Have a great weekend!

  5. These are my kind of snack!!