Monday, March 1, 2010

Fried Mozzarella Bites with Homemade Tomato Sauce

ooey gooey deliciousness. I toyed with titling this post those very three words, but thought that just might be weird. But, now that you're here and reading, I'll just go ahead and tell you there is nothing better than any foods that can be described as ooey gooey deliciousness! With a crisp shell and a gooey, melted cheese center, each of these mozzarella bites tasted a little bit like {fried} heaven dunked in tasty, amazing sauce.

Mozzarella Balls

I'd like to say these are perfect party foods, but the bites are best eaten straight from the fryer. I'm not sure how elegant of a party you typically host, but nothing about deep frying inside of your house is at all sophisticated in my opinion. First off, the smell lingers in your house for days, and then there's me, the ever put-together chef, freaking out about dropping things in hot oil and periodically yelping like a scared baby.

Fried Mozzarella Bites

So, yes. I'm advising you to make these and enjoy them all on your own. The minor heartburn afterwards? SO definitely worth it!

PS. I must thank my mother for giving me this most dreaded Christmas gift, the infamous Fry Daddy. While I looked at it with glee, I knew it would only spell diet disaster. Yes, you can fry anything, especially in our house! After devouring bite after yummy mozzarella bite, hubby decided to use the extra breading and fry a steak. Gross!! Ok...I lie. It was pretty good.

Fried Mozzarella Bites with Homemade Tomato Sauce
slightly adapted from Pink Bites 

1 8 oz container of mozzarella balls (I used the ciliegine, "cherry" sized mozzarella balls)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of milk
1 cup of plain flour
2 cups of panko
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper
canola oil for frying
 (you'll end up with a lot of excess flour, breading, etc.  Halve the breading if you prefer, but having the excess makes dunking easier! Or, you can double the amount of cheese)

1.  Drain the cheese and dry on paper towels. Prepare your breading station by having 3 bowls ready. Put flour in one, season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the eggs with the milk and pour into the second bowl. Add the breadcrumbs with the dried oregano and garlic salt to the last bowl and mix well.

2. Dip each piece of cheese in the flour, then in the egg mixture and lastly in the breadcrumbs, shaking off excess after each step. Repeat the breading process again and place cheese balls on a flat plate.

3.  Heat about oil up to minimum line in Fry Daddy or in a medium sauce pan to 350 degrees. Carefully lower cheese balls, a few of a time and cook until they are golden, about a minute or so. Remove and drain in paper towels. Repeat with the remaining cheese making sure oil comes up to temperature before adding more cheese.

Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (try Muir Glen)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

1. Heat the oil over medium-heat and add the onions. cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a minute more and add the diced tomatoes.

2. Fill half of the tomato can with water and add to the pot. Add spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until sauce is thickened (this process took awhile for me.  I let simmer until very thick b/c I like thick sauce). Season with salt and pepper to taste.


La Bella Cooks said...

My grandmother made these little fried mozzarella bites at big family Italian gatherings. I usually stuck close to that table. They are so yummy!

Sarah said...

Oh man YUM. I count myself lucky that I don't like most fried foods and am not tempted by them, BUT any warm melted cheese, especially paired with marinara, is like a magnet. If I had a menu fried appetizers, this is definitely what I'd pick.

I don't have a fryer, but I bet you could use a wide pan that fits a few inches of oil?

Anonymous said...

These look so GREAT! I cant wait to make them this week!

Esi said...

I could probably eat these all in one sitting!

grace said...

mozzarella sticks? pfff--too much cheese, not enough fried coating. mozzarella balls? now we're talking. excellent cheese-to-breading ratio. love the sauce too. :)

Meghan said...

These look SO good! I love fried mozzarella. You will be able to make so many things in your fry daddy! I'm still afraid to fry things in my kitchen; I'm going to ask my mom if I can do them over in hers with assistance :)

Anonymous said...

I secretly want a deep fryer!! :) These look DELICIOUS.

kat said...

This is what I fear about getting a fry daddy, all my meals will become deep fried goodness said...

Those would be very dangerous in my house.. I'd eat them all in one sitting. I made motzarella sticks one time..They were delicious.

vanillasugarblog said...

yeah the burn of heatburn. thankfully I don't suffer from that, but know of a few who do. man oh man these look so good. you're lucky you're so skinny so you can eat a ton and never worry. lol

Joanne said...

This is reminding me just how long it's been since I've had mozzarella sticks...which is to say. Way. Too. Long.

They were my ultimate favorite food when I was a kid.

these look amazing!

MaryBeth said...

Oh Sharon, you can't go wrong with this one darn good

Emily said...

Wow, you're on a roll! These bites look great. I would have no problem enjoying them all by myself.

Sasha said...

As if cheese isn't divine enough on its own, but you had to go and deep fry it ; )
Good job! This dish looks absolutely delicious.

Meandering Eats said...

Woohoo deep fryer! The cheese balls look awesome. I'm thinking a deep fryer will be the Mr.'s b-day present, so we'll be joining you on the diet-ruining fun. :)

Anna said...

These look delicious!!

KirkK said...

THis looks especially yummy.

Sophie said...

I still need to get a deep fryer! Frying is always an adventure/danger in my house haha! These came out lovely and so yummy-golden!

Sharon said...

Sarah, yes you can definitely use a saucepan...just be careful of the splatter!

Justin said...

i love this kind of thing, but i never make it at home. i'm too nervous about the idea of frying something with cheese in it!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

ooey, gooey deliciousness would have been very apt. Who could resist eating a bunch of these?

Pam said...

These would be so dangerous for me...I'd eat the whole batch.

Juliana said...

Wow, great idea for appetizer...look fabulous and very tasty...nice pictures :-)

pigpigscorner said...

Great snack! I wish I could make this (my hubs is not a huge fan of cheese)

Maria said...

I usually say no to frying, but I might have to budge on this one. They look awesome!

Leslie said...

oh yes indeed..I love cheese and fried cheese even better!

Maris said...

My stomach just rumbled, looking at these. It is lunchtime! :)

Cindy Lane said...

I keep looking at these. I have to try them!!