Monday, February 15, 2010

The Comfort Of Hot Grease

There is something magical about hot grease. It can make just about anything taste good.  I didn't have to stretch my imagination far because sent a recipe for Fried Mozzarella Balls to my inbox a couple of weeks ago. I finally made it out to Trader Joe's to pick up the cheese Friday night.

I had a rough night last night. My aunt went back to the hospital for emergency surgery.  I stayed up past my bedtime talking to family and then there were a couple of calls in the wee hours for updates.  Even when I wasn't on the phone, the worry kept me from getting good sleep.

The surgery was successful and she will be okay.  I still feel the stress. You know there was only one place for me to head -- the kitchen.  This was the time for gooey melted cheese.

Let's get it.

Start with marinated fresh mozz balls, the little ones.  The marinated ones were at least $2.00 more at the store, so I figured I could marinate them myself.  (It's a recession.) I kept it basic -- olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I was going to make these yesterday when I found out about my aunt, so they had a good 24 hrs to marinate in the fridge.
Heat oil to 360.  I did whip out my oil thermometer for this.  Since I was only doing a handful of balls, I used a 2-qt pot for the oil.  Pat the cheese dry.

Dip the cheese into a beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs. Repeat. Let it rest on waxed paper.  This is the one time I wished for store-bought bread crumbs.  I wasn't able to get mine to a consistent size.  They were very light and airy after frying though.

Place the cheese into the oil and fry away.  Be careful with the oil.  These go quick! So quick that I have no pic.  Hey, that rhymes. Back to the food.  Isn't this pretty?  Not bad for a first attempt.

Now this is what I'm talkin' 'bout! Don't hurt yourself.

Yep. Hot grease makes everything better. Now I gotta figure out what else I'm going to do with this oil.  Perhaps I'll try some makeshift hush puppies tomorrow.

Tools of the trade

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