Game Day is quickly approaching and if your menu is already made you MUST take time to re-write it to make room for these Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites. I am taking part in a book tour for Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook by Dan Whalen, and oh my goodness it is “man food” paradise – woman food too if you aren’t too worried about calories and carbs. Flip through this book and kiss that diet goodbye although he did add some “lighter” recipes so maybe you CAN stick to that diet. Whatever recipe you decide to try, stuffed amazing-ness, that’s what it is. ( I’ve got a secret. Want a copy? Read to the end.)
Mozzarella Sticks have been on my radar lately and a certain fast food restaurant sells them already made but they always disappoint me. Too much breading, not enough cheese. I’ve also seen a few baked mozzarella sticks but girlfriend, guy friend, whoever you are reading this, some days you just need to have it done right – deep fried all the way, so today I’m taking on Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites, stuffed Dan Whalen style. If you don’t know who Dan Whalen is, he’s the guy behind The Food in My Beard, and creator of all things amazingly Stuffed! like these bites. The Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites turned out more like a bite sized calzone than the mini cheese stick I was envisioning but they are amazing. Just a warning, they are addicting, as are the deep fried oreos we may or may not have added to the mix. He nailed the “pig-out scale” accurately. (Skip calorie count, use the pig-out scale.)
My sister recently bought a deep fryer so I had her come visit, deep fryer in hand, and we made the Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites together. However, you can make them on the stove top too if you wish. I recommend a thermometer to make sure the oil is the right temperature. Take the guesswork out of it. They are THE BEST when you eat them hot out of the fryer and dipped in warm marinara. You can grab our favorite pizza dough recipe, buy pre-made dough, or make the recipe that comes in the book. The one in the book needs to be started a day before and put in the fridge overnight so make sure you give it time for that.
Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites
These little guys are one of the most viewed posts of all time on The Food in My Beard, and for good reason! Only problem is when I originally made them, I totally messed up and all the cheese came flying out of the balls while frying. Since then, I fixed up the recipe, and added a few flavor boosters like garlic and oregano to make this a killer dish.
Makes: about 40 bites
Pig-Out Scale: 5.9
- 1 pound (454 g) mozzarella
- ½ cup (60 g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- Flour, for dusting
- 1 loaf pizza dough, homemade (page 194) or store-bought
- Simple Marinara (page 194), for dipping
Make the Filling:
The key here is to buy the firmer blocks of mozzarella, and not the fresh kind that floats in water. Chop up the mozzarella into ½-inch (1.3-cm) cubes. Mix the cornstarch with the garlic, oregano and salt and lightly dust the cubes of cheese. Put the cheese into the freezer for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 1 to 2.
With a light dusting of flour on your work surface, roll out the dough very thin, about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Break off small pieces of dough one by one, and use them to wrap the mozzarella cubes. Have a small cup of water ready, and dip your fingers into the water, using it like glue, to help seal the little dough balls. Roll the balls in your hand to make them uniform, and make sure they are sealed. Dust with flour and set aside until you are ready to fry.
Preheat the oil in a deep skillet to 350˚F (180˚C). Fry each ball for about 3 to 5 minutes, until browned and cooked, but just before the mozzarella explodes from the dough (you may need to explode a few before you get the hang of the timing).
Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
Recipe from Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook by Dan Whalen
(Page Street Publishing; August 2013) Printed with permission
Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook
Oh, didn’t I tell you I’m giving away a copy? Oh yeah! Go here to enter the giveaway. One lucky person will be a Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook winner. You know you want it to be you and it CAN’T be you if you don’t enter. Clickity-click!
You can also
hop click over to take a peek at all the other recipes on the Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook Tour.