Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fried Pizza Sticks with Mozzarella & Pepperoni and a San Marzano Marinara Dipping Sauce

Fried Pizza Sticks with Mozzarella & Pepperoni and a San Marzano Marinara Dipping Sauce
Fried Pizza... sounds like something that would be featured at the state fair. But hey, it's officially tailgatin' season, which means it's required that you fry something on Saturday. I love mozzarella sticks, especially when they are homemade. I hate going to restaurants and you get those pre-frozen logs of crap  with barely any breading on it... and then worse, it's soggy. That's why you make them at home. And you can add pepperoni to them and it's soooo much better. What's the secret to good mozzarella sticks, you ask? Egg roll wrappers and Panko breadcrumbs. I know, you think I'm crazy. Why would I ever use egg roll wrappers? Because they hold in all the cheese, so none of the good stuff seeps out. And don't worry, you won't even know they are there. They are so thin that it just blends in with the breading. We served ours with a homemade marinara sauce with San Marzano tomatoes. These Fried Pizza Sticks are unbelievable, so crispy... gooey... chewy... everything. I'm also going to post my recipe for Spinach-Artichoke Cheese Sticks in a few minutes, so look out for those. They are just as good!! Enjoy :)
Such a crispy breading :) 
See the pepperoni peaking out above the cheese? Amazing.
Gorgeous San Marzano Marinara Sauce For Dipping

For the Pizza Sticks:
Individual Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks
4 Slices of Pepperoni per Cheese Stick
Egg Roll Wrappers

For the Crispy Italian Breading:
2C AP Flour
Salt & Pepper
3 Eggs
½C Buttermilk
2T Pesto
Italian Style Panko Breadcrumbs
Salt, For Sprinkling
Canola Oil, For Frying

For the San Marzano Marinara Sauce:
28oz San Marzano Tomatoes, Whole & Peeled
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves
4T Unsalted Butter
2t Sugar
1 Handful of Fresh Basil, Roughly Chopped
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Directions:
1. For the San Marzano Marinara Sauce: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add in the onions. Cook over medium heat until caramelized & soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and gently crush the tomatoes. Cover the pot and bring the sauce to a boil for 3-5 minutes, add in the fresh basil, and reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside, or keep warm, until ready to serve with the pizza sticks.   
2. Assembling the Pizza Sticks: On top of an egg roll wrapper, place four pieces of pepperoni diagonally across. Place a piece of mozzarella string cheese on top. Fold over the corners over the cheese. Fold the bottom corner over the cheese and pepperoni and keep rolling until it is tightly wrapped. Moisten the corners with water to seal. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers, mozzarella, and pepperoni. Refrigerate until you are ready to bread. Next, you have to set up a battering station. I use 3 pie tins. For the first station, I mix the flour, salt, and pepper. For the second station, I whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and pesto. For the third station, pour the contents of one box of Italian Style Panko breadcrumbs. Now, place the wrapped cheese sticks into the flour mixture, then into the egg wash, and finally the panko (making sure they are completely covered). Put the breaded sticks on a tin foil-lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, and then put the pan into the refrigerator and let the chill until all of them have been breaded.   
3. Frying the Pizza Sticks: Heat your deep fryer to 350 degrees with the oil. Once the oil has heated, pull the sticks out of the refrigerator. Fry the slices for 5-7 minutes each or until golden brown and crispy on the outside, but making sure the cheese has melted on the inside. Once they are done frying return them to the same baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt immediately.
4. Keep warm until you are ready to eat. Serve with the warm San Marzano Marinara Sauce.

6 comments:

  1. yummy yumm!!!! i m drooling..

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  2. I will have to pin this recipe and try it sometime after I'm married and wont have to share them with 10 other people lol! I love these things!

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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    1. They are addicting, I have to stop myself after a couple or I'll just balloon up, haha. Thanks for commenting :)


      XOXO,
      Juliana

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  3. I made these and they were DELISH!! Using the egg roll wrapper is pure genius, no more going through all the work to make homemade sticks just to have the cheese mostly on the outside! I used two mozzarella sticks to make extra big ones, my folk have VERY big appetites. Keep up the inspiration. Miss B

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    1. Don't they really taste like pizza? So fun too. We love 'em!! And I love the egg roll idea as well, all I want to do is make all kinds of crazy egg roll sticks. I'm sure I'll have many more recipes :) Glad y'all loved them!

      XOXO,
      Juliana

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