Sunday, June 16, 2013

Oven Baked Mozzarella Sticks

When I was younger Saturday nights at home were a smorgasbord of indulgence. We used to have deep fried mozzarella sticks with deep fried banana, prawn crackers and for dessert, a deep fried tim tam! Now I know your thinking that is alot of deep fried going on right there, but we were a healthy family the rest of the time and this was our night to live on the wild / fried side. Mum and Dad also used to have deep fried zucchini and deep fried camembert but when I was little I a) didn't do greenery and b) didn't do camembert....if only I could go back and have a word with myself!

Anyway, I remember 'Camembert Nights' as being a bit of an event, Mum would be in the kitchen preparing most of the morning, I would spend most of the afternoon trying to pinch little bits of the crumb mix from the fridge and that night we would feast. I would get to spend the night in my room watching tv, listening to music and reading till all hours of the morning and Mum and Dad would have some time out for themselves.

It has been years since I've had cheese sticks or prawn crackers or a deep fried banana for that matter and the one time I saw a shop selling deep fried tim tams and dragged Mr B in there with stories of my youth and how he simply had to try one....well let's just say he hasn't forgiven me yet.

Mr B and I own a deep fryer but we rarely use it.....partially due to the whole trying to be healthy thing and partially due to the fact it's a pain to clean up. Last week we had some leftover mozzarella floating around in the fridge and I decided to try making some cheese sticks and baking them in the oven. They were an absolute success, not quite as good as my Mum's but delicious none the I just need to try it with a tim tam!

For these Oven Baked Mozzarella Sticks you will need:

300g Mozzarella cut into sticks (we cut ours into 4 and then cut each one in half to make 8 nice sized sticks)
2 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup plain flour
Seasoning (we used 1/2 tspn cajun spices on half and 1/2 tspn lemon pepper on the other but you can use italian herbs or whatever you want really)

In small bowl, whisk the eggs. Place the flour in a small bowl and place the panko breadcrumbs and your chosen seasoning into another small bowl.

Roll the cheese sticks in flour, shaking off excess. Then dip into the egg and roll in the crumbs to coat. Dip the cheese in the egg again and then roll in the crumbs again and then place on a plate. Repeat with your remaining cheese sticks.

Place the plate of cheese sticks into the freezer and pre-heat your oven to 200C. Lightly grease a baking tray with oil.

Once the oven is pre-heated, remove the cheese sticks from the freezer and place onto the tray. Drizzle with a little more oil.

Place the tray on the bottom shelf of your oven and bake for 4-5 mins. Turn the cheese sticks and bake for a further 5 mins. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't melt. I turned mine at the half way point and they were perfect but when I went back 5 mins later, half of them had pockets of mozzarella oozing out of them which really doesn't matter, they still taste delicious!

Serve as an entree, part of a tapas dinner or as a main meal with salad.


Mrs B xx

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