Sunday, June 15, 2014

Herbed Cheese Sticks

Copyright 2014 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This very simple dish is a favorite of mine since I first tasted it a long time ago. I can't think of the reason why but I seldom make it until I moved to the US for graduate school. I used to make this for potluck parties especially for a picnic in the park or just as a snack really. The reason being is that there are only two ingredients to this wonderful treat which are cheese and a spring roll wrapper. The trick to making these bad boys is to make sure that your oil is very hot when you start frying them. The wrappers have to crisp up to a golden hue before the cheese filling melts and starts to ooze out. 

My cousin makes this a bit differently for two reasons. One, we buy our spring roll wrappers fresh off the wet market so they are round instead of square. The wrappers come in various sizes so we usually go for the medium or the smaller ones for this treat. Two, she slices the cheese thinly and rolls the wrapper without folding the sides so it becomes almost like a fried cheese roll. It is delicious. Now, since I like to push a simple recipe into something more complicated, I actually took it one step further and decided to soak these wrapped cheese delights in an eggwash onto an herbed bread crumb mix before frying them. The result is similar to a mozzarella stick that I tasted in one of the local restaurants here in town. This is definitely worth a try.

Herbed Cheese Sticks

1 lb Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese - 2 to 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick
40 round spring roll wrappers, about 6 inches in diameter
1 cups bread crumbs - Japanese style
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 eggs
oil for frying

1. To make the cheese sticks, place one slice of cheese about a third from 
    the edge of a wrapper and fold the edge over it. Tuck in the sides 
    towards the center and roll forward tightly to seal. Wet the edge with 
    water to ensure it stays put.

2. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside. 

3. To prepare the breading mix, combine the dried herbs with the bread
    crumbs in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper. 

4. To fry, heat enough oil at medium high heat. Dip the cheese sticks in the 
    egg wash and quickly dredge with the breading mix. Fry in batches of 5 
    so that they fry quickly. Turn them once and continue to fry until it is 
    evenly golden brown in color. 

5. Serve immediately with your choice of condiment. Marinara sauce, tomato 
    ketchup or sweet chili sauce are perfect choices for this treat. 

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