Monday, February 11, 2013

Oscar Noms #5: Les Mozzerables

I'm glad I found a cheesy recipe to make for Les Misérables, because of all the Oscar nominations, this one is by far the cheesiest. I mean, I'll probably see it at some point because Anne Hathaway gave such a great performance and will surely win the Oscar for it and blah blah blah, but honestly musicals make me a bit crazy and I find them nearly impossible to sit through. I'm sorry if I'm offending any musical fans out there, but people just breaking out into song and all the melodrama and, well, people breaking out into song, it brings on some weird form of Tourette's in me and gives me an uncontrollable urge to yell obscenities until it stops. Russell Crowe singing will surely send me over the edge.

But back to the cheese. For these delicious, melty, crunchy, cheesy sticks, I attempted to make my own batch of mozzarella from the new Artisan Vegan Cheese book. Despite following the instructions and mail ordering hard to find (not to mention pricey) ingredients like carrageenan and xantham gum, all I ended up with was a bowl full of gloppy goop. It didn't solidify at all. I'm not sure what went wrong, but I would love to hear if any of you have had experiences, good or bad, with any of the recipes from that book.

With the artisanal cheese a bust, I had to call upon my trusty Teese mozzarella. I still roughly followed the instructions in Artisan Vegan Cheese for breading and frying the sticks, except that I omitted the nutritional yeast in the flour mixture and instead of using Ener-G egg replacer, I finally got a chance to try out the newest vegan product that everyone is buzzing about, The Vegg. Wow, I wasn't prepared for it to smell SO EGGY. It's the black salt in there that gives off the eggy sulfuric odor, which was a little more realistic than I needed it to be. Regardless, these mozzarella sticks were incredible. They were even better than I remembered the "real" ones being. They were perfectly crispy and crunchy on the outside, and melty and gooey on the inside. The Teese even stretches the way real dairy does!

Vegan Breaded Mozzarella Sticks
makes 4-6 servings

1 package (10 oz) Teese Mozzarella flavor
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt
2 tsp. The Vegg powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups panko
vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup marinara sauce

1. After removing the Teese from the wrapper, cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half again lengthwise, then cut each quarter into 4-5 evenly sized sticks.

2. You're going to need three separate bowls for the breading process: in the first bowl mix flour, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. Blend (in a blender, NOT by hand) The Vegg powder with the water, put that mixture in the second bowl. In the third bowl place the panko crumbs.

3. Dip each mozzarella stick first in the flour mixture and coat it, then dip in the Vegg to coat, and then press into the panko until each stick is evenly coated. You'll want to coat each stick and place them on a plate before you begin frying. I recommend using a cast iron skillet for frying - you'll need about an inch of oil in the pan.

Prep all the sticks before you start frying, so you're not getting your hands all goopy and sticky while your oil is getting too hot between batches.
4. Heat your oil, then fry each stick 1-2 minutes on one side, then flip and fry 1-2 minutes on the other side or until they are evenly golden brown. (If they don't immediately start sizzling when you put them in the pan, your oil is not hot enough.) When you remove them from the pan, place them on a paper towel-lined plate until they are all ready. Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Crispy, crunchy, melty, cheesy goodness!


  1. This was very nice...melty and gooey. I highly recommend a sprinkle of salt on the cheese sticks after they're out of the pan.

  2. The best way to test if your oil is hot is to use a wooden tooth pick. If you stick the tooth pick in the oil and it bubbles up, then your oil is hot. C: