Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reduced Fat Mozzarella Sticks

Since the boys are out at a baseball game tonight I thought I would make a fun treat for the girls. They love string cheese (the individually packaged pieces of mozzarella that you can tear off into strings), so I thought I would use them to make fried mozzarella sticks. They are actually so simple, you'll wonder why everyone pays so much for them in restaurants.
   I wanted these to be a little bit less of a guilty pleasure by making them as reduced fat as possible. They taste just as good as the full fat version. You won't miss any of the fat an calories, promise.

Here's how I do it:

I use 8 pieces of reduced fat, "light" string cheese (only 60 calories).

I cut each one in half, and put them all in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (this keeps them from oozing out into the oil when I fry them).

I put 2 inches of vegetable oil in a large pot to heat up. It's ready when it bubbles around the end of a wooden spoon. If you have an oil or candy thermometer, you want it to read 350-365F.

While I'm waiting for the oil to heat up, I pour about 1 1/2 cups of Italian bread crumbs onto a plate, and add a dash of salt and about 1 tsp of granulated garlic.

On a second plate, I separate 2 eggs. I put the whites on the plate and the yolks in a bowl.

I'll use the yolks to make a pudding, or custard, or some other non-reduced fat recipe. :)

I beat the egg whites with a fork,

until they get nice and frothy.

Then I start dipping.  Into the egg whites first . . .

then the bread crumbs . . .

Back to the egg whites . . .

and a last time in the bread crumbs.

When they are all coated, it's time to start frying.

First, wash those nasty hands!

When the oil is up to temperature, gently place the mozzarella sticks into the oil.

I fry 8 at a time, and then dry them on a paper towel.

All there is left to do is get out your favorite marinara sauce (or Ranch dressing if you're my husband) and start eating!

Ooohh! Gooey!

Here's the recipe:

Reduced Fat Mozzarella Sticks

8 pieces of reduced fat, "light" string cheese
1 1/2 cups of Italian Style bread crumbs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
2 egg whites

Cut each piece of string cheese in half and then put on a plate in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Heat up 2 inches of oil in a large pot on the stove to 350F. On one plate, combine the bread crumbs, salt and garlic. On a second plate, beat the egg whites until frothy. When the string cheese is partially frozen, dip each piece into the egg whites first, then in the bread crumb mixture, back into the egg whites and finally in the bread crumbs a second time. When each piece is coated, and the oil is 350F, gently place each piece into the oil. Fry 8 at a time. After 1 minute they should be golden brown, and they can be transferred to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Fry the last 8 until golden brown and then drain. Serve warm with marinara sauce or ranch dressing.

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