Learn How to Make Crispy Cheese Sticks With This Mad Genius Tip
What do you get when a mozzarella stick meets a Hot Pocket? About three bites (or a hearty hors d'oeuvres' worth) of crispy, cheesy, carb-y goodness. That you can make at home. Using Wonder Bread, of all things.
Yes, in the latest episode of Mad Genius Tips, Food & Wine's culinary director Justin Chapple MacGyver's his own stick-pockets out of common kitchen staples: an egg, shredded mozzarella cheese (bagged is fine), grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (go for the good stuff here), crushed red pepper, parsley, and soft sandwich bread.
Which brings us to the fun part! After the filling is mixed together, Chapple stacks about five or six slices of Wonder Bread on a cutting board and trims off the crusts. (Pro tip: don't throw these away! If you run the crusts through a food processor and stick them in the freezer, they'll make great breadcrumbs.) Then, he takes one crust-less slice, pulls out a rolling pin, and—starting in the center and rolling out—begins to flatten it. "I like to tell people this is my sandwich bread dumpling or wonton wrapper," he says. Pretty genius, right?
From there, Chapple heats some oil to 350 degrees in a deep skillet, stuffs his sandwich-wrappers with a tablespoon of filling each, and pinches the edges together (dampening the corners slightly with water to ensure a tighter seal). Then, he drops those little cheese-bombs into the oil for a minute and a half to two minutes, occasionally flipping them until they're golden brown, places them on a baking sheet, and pops them in a 200 degree oven while he fries the next batch.
Try serving yours with a side of marinara sauce for an elevated Totino's Pizza Rolls vibe (what more could a snack aspire to?). As Chapple says, "your mozzarella stick situation will never be the same."