Turn the flavor on your Mozzarella Sticks way up with this crazy good recipe!
CRACKLIN’ MOZZARELLA STICKS:
1 pound mozzarella (cut into 3 x 1/2-inch sticks)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
4 cup pork rinds
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup spicy marinara sauce (warmed, to serve)
vegetable oil (to fry)
Kosher salt (to taste)
TOMATO BASIL SALAD:
1 cup tomatoes (cored, diced)
1/3 cup basil (leaves only, loosely packed, chopped)
1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
1 cup baby arugula
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
For the Cracklin’ Mozzarella Sticks: Place a baking rack inside a baking sheet.
In the bowl of a food processor add pork rinds and pulse until finely ground (you can also place in a zip top bag and crush with a rolling pin until finely ground).
Prepare a dredging station with three shallow baking dishes. Place all-purpose flour in the first baking dish. Add eggs and milk in the second baking dish and whisk to combine. Add pork rinds, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme in the third shallow baking dish and mix to combine.
Dredge the cheese sticks in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip into the egg and lastly coat in the pork rinds, shaking off any excess. Repeat the dredging process a second time to coat the cheese twice. Repeat with all of the cheese sticks. Place the dredged cheese sticks on the baking rack and freeze for at least 1 hour.
When ready to fry add 2-3 inches of oil to a Dutch oven and heat to 350ºF. Line a plate with paper towels.
Drop the mozzarella sticks into the oil and fry for about 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to the paper towel-lined plate and season with salt while still hot. Serve with spicy marinara sauce.
For the Tomato Basil Salad: In a large bowl, toss together tomatoes, basil, garlic and arugula.
In medium bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and drizzle over the salad, tossing to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve along side the Cracklin’ Mozzarella Sticks!
Tip: Dredge the mozzarella sticks up to 1 week in advance and keep in the freezer until ready to fry!