Baked Mozzarella Sticks (adapted from SkinnyTaste)
12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (Sargento)
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
5 tbsp panko crumbs
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley
olive oil cooking spray
Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.
In small bowl, whisk the egg. Place the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley.
Dip the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs.
Repeat this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer at least 1 hour until ready to bake (this is a MUST or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).
When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.
Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. Spray the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and bake in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and bake an additional 4 – 5 minutes watching them closely so they don’t melt.
Mozzarella Kebabs (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
12 oil-packed sundried tomato halves, drained, oil reserved
12 medium basil leaves
12 small fresh mozzarella balls packed in water, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Special Equipment: long wooden toothpicks
Half all of the ingredients. Alternate 1 mozzarella ball, 1 basil leaf, and 1 sun-dried tomato on one toothpick. Repeat. Arrange the skewers on a platter. Drizzle the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes over the skewers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.