Mozzarella sticks are one of my most favorite foods ever. Kelly has a traumatic story about mozzarella sticks. You should ask her about it. Sometimes Cliff and I will go to a local bar to watch a Bears game or a Bulls game. I would much rather watch at home laying on my own comfy couch in my yoga pants but there is one advantage to watching games at a bar. Greasy, fried, bar food. I am talking french fries, fried mushrooms, onion rings, and one of my favorites: mozzarella sticks. If Cliff wants to keep me from complaining and asking when we can leave he knows he just needs to keep ordering me fried food. Works every time. As far as I am concerned it is a win win situation. Cliff gets to watch the big game and I get to eat fried food. I really can’t complain. We made these fried mozzarella sticks a while back. They are still a favorite but I have been trying to bake things instead of frying them these days. For the most part, it works out pretty well. The panko makes the pepper jack cheese sticks nice and crunchy and the cheese melts really well in the oven. And you can definitely taste the spiciness of the pepper jack cheese. The only draw back is that baking them just doesn’t give them that dark golden brown color that frying does. Personally, I don’t mind that at all. They still taste fantastic. If you are not a fan of pepper jack cheese you can always do this with mozzarella or cheddar.
Ingredients6 pepper jack cheese sticks, cut in half1 cup panko1 cup Italian bread crumbs1 egg1/2 cup flourSalsa for dippingDirectionsPlace flour in one bowl. Place egg in another bowl and whisk. Mix together the panko and bread crumbs in a third bowl. Dip each cheese stick in flour, then egg, then panko/bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet. Once all the cheese sticks are coated in bread crumbs freeze them for about 12 hours. I usually freeze them overnight. Once you are ready to bake them preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cheese sticks on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately with salsa or dipping sauce of your choice. The cheese will set and harden quickly so it is best to eat them immediately.Source: A Live Love Pasta original