|It was love at first sight.|
The idea was, of course, Pinterest inspired. The recipe came from a tasteofhome.com and it gave specific instructions for homemade mozzarella sticks! Again, it was another spectacular recipe, however, I felt like it was my duty to make it even BETTER somehow. How does one make an already amazing dish better, you might ask? Step one: Ramp up its nutritional value content.
Here is what the original recipe called for: (quite simple!)
* 12 pieces string cheese
* 12 egg roll wrappers
* Oil for deep-fat frying
* Marinara or spaghetti sauce
I love it when the directions are easy to follow :) Unfortunately, I made it a bit more tedious but it is totally worth it, I promise!!
First off I must clarify something immediately. I did not, nor will I ever, and I mean NEVER, fry anything and blog about it claiming that it is healthy. That would seriously be going against everything I believe in. Luckily, there is an alternative to this sinful way of cooking delicacies- BAKE IT. Yes my friends, it is as easy as throwing it in the oven for 10-12 minutes and calling it a day. And you save about 100-150 calories of pure FAT along the way as well :) Yay for ovens!:D
The big thing I changed was the filling of the stick....cheese alone was not going to suffice!! I am an advocate for eating as many veggies as possible within a day's caloric intake, so I try to incorporate them in every meal I eat. This addition is what transformed the recipe from a simple mozzarella stick to a combination between that and an egg roll!
Here is a list of the veggies I added:
* Chopped Celery
* Bean Sprouts
* Mushrooms/Red Onion (Sauteed these before adding them into the roll)
Also, I substituted string cheese sticks for thin slices of fresh mozzarella.....string cheese made me think of my lunchbox back in the elementary days of my life, and I deemed it necessary to upgrade to a more mature cheese selection :)
Finally, once the the rolls were wrapped, I glazed them with Kikkoman's Teriyaki Garlic & Onion sauce. To secure the mozzarella stick taste, I heated up a spoonful of Classico's lovely marinara sauce for dipping :)
I was very pleased and so was the rest of my family! It was a very nice Valentines Day treat that did not include any of those nasty refined sugars that are found in most candy and chocolates! Not to mention it was very inexpensive to make....the egg rolls I used were only $2.50 at Kroger, and one package included 21 wrappers! The brand is called Nasoya, and I am particularly fond of their products because they do not include any genetically engineered ingredients, nor MSG! WOOOHOO! Yay for natural ingredients!
The only suggestion I have for you fellow chefs out there who are eager to try out this dish is to leave the rolls/sticks in the oven for 15-17minutes as opposed to 10-12minutes, because that will give them a crispier texture. Also, remember to lightly grease the pan with vegetable cooking spray to avoid them sticking to the pan!
That is all for now, hope you all had a very nice Valentines Day....you can try this out anytime, you do not need an excuse to make this special appetizer!:)