Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Healthier" Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Olivia is an adventurous cook.  She rarely met a spice combination she wouldn't try and her efforts run the gamut from decadent to healthy.  This one leans purposefully to the healthy side.  She made these recently and I was the happy recipient of some of them.  They of course don't have the same texture as the deep fried version of mozzarella sticks you may have experienced in restaurants, but the coating is very good and dipping them in a bit of marinara sauce is delicious.  The photograph was taken before the sticks were baked so that is why they may appear a bit pale.  As indicated at the end of the recipe, the baking time may require a bit of tweaking.  If they don't look done when you pull them out, put them back in for a minute.  If you pull them out and one or two have started to melt slightly, you are flirting with failure so use caution.  I really enjoyed these, but I have never really met a cheese I didn't like.  Forget the rarely part--I have yet to meet a cheese I didn't like (yeah even the multi-colored, somewhat fragrant varieties).  Enjoy!

Baked Mozzarella Sticks

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 2 pieces • Old Points: 1 pts • Points+: 2 pts*
Calories: 86.8* • Fat: 4.8 g • Protein: 7.4 g • Carb: 3.5 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Sugar: 0.2
Sodium: 168.6

  • 12 sticks part-skim, reduced sodium mozzarella string cheese (Sargento)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 5 tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 5 tbsp panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • olive oil cooking spray (I used my misto)
Cut cheese in half to give you 24 pieces. Place cheese in the freezer until cheese is frozen.
In small bowl, 
 the egg. 
 the flour on another small dish. In separate bowl, 
 bread crumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and dried parsley.

 the frozen sticks in flour, shaking off excess, then into the egg, then coat with the crumbs.

this process with the remaining cheese placing them on a tray with wax paper. Place cheese back into the freezer until ready to bake (this is a must or they will melt before the crumbs get golden).
When ready to bake preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with oil.
Place frozen cheese sticks on baking sheet. 
 the tops of the mozzarella sticks with a little more oil and 
 in the bottom third of your oven until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. 
 an additional 4 - 5 minutes watching them closely so they don't melt.

Makes 24 pieces.

Recipe from:  "Skinny Taste" Website

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