From-Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
|By :Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough|
Break out your (or your dad’s?) puka shells! Maybe mozz sticks first became the rage when guys wore platform heels. But since then, there’s never been a time these crunchy-gooey breaded cheese sticks have been unwelcome on an appetizer spread. (Sadly, the heels haven’t stayed as popular.) Here, the sticks must go straight from the freezer into the air fryer so the cheese doesn’t liquefy in the heat—a time-saving bonus. Mozzarella sticks are available in many sizes and shapes. This recipe will work with sticks that weigh from ¾ ounce each all the way up to 11/2 ounces each. In other words, no giant sticks. How are these better than just cooking them plain, even in an air fryer? For one thing, we cook them at a slightly lower temperature and for slightly longer to air-fry them straight from their frozen state. And for another, we add yet more cheese to the sticks. If you want to skip our extra-cheese addition (but why?), air-fry the frozen sticks for 6 minutes without turning and without increasing the temperature of the machine.
|Cooking Technique||Instant Omni Toaster Oven and Air Fryer|
|Main Ingredient||frozen mozzarella sticks, Parmesan cheese|
|Keyword||air fry, cheese, kid friendly, party food, snack|
|Prep Time||8 Minutes|
|Cook Time||6 Minutes|
|Passive Time||2-3 Minutes (cooling time)|
- 8 pieces frozen mozzarella sticks 1-ounce
- 1 ounce shredded Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup
- Set the machine to AIR FRY. Set the temperature to 375°F and the time to 8 minutes (which will be a little more than you need). Press START.
- When the machine beeps, indicates ADD FOOD, or is heated to the proper temperature, lay the frozen mozzarella sticks in a single layer in the basket or on the tray. There should also be at least 1/2 inch of space around each stick. Use separate trays or work in batches as necessary.
- Air-fry undisturbed for 2 minutes. Ignore any TURN FOOD indicator and increase the machine’s temperature to 400°F. Top each stick with 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan.
- Continue air-frying, undisturbed and again ignoring any TURN FOOD indicator, until the shredded cheese on each stick has melted and even browned a bit and the stick’s bready coating is visibly crispy, about 4 minutes, maybe longer. If you’ve used multiple trays, swap them top to bottom after air-frying for 2 minutes, then continue cooking until visibly crispy, about 4 minutes in all.
- Turn off the machine. Use a nonstick-safe spatula to transfer the sticks to a fine-mesh wire rack. Cool for 2 or 3 minutes before serving.
- The mozz sticks can sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before the cheese begins to firm up too much. They don’t store well as leftovers. But to refresh any that have cooled to room temperature, heat them a single layer in a 350°F air fryer for about 1 minute.
Upgrade This Recipe!
Serve jarred marinara sauce as a dip. Use as is, or doctor it by stirring in a little olive oil, a pinch or so of Italian dried seasoning blend, a little balsamic vinegar, and/or a pinch of red pepper flakes. Note: Watch carefully during the last minute or so of cooking. Overcooking the sticks can cause cheese to leak out a bit. Not the worst thing, mind you. Just messy to clean up.
Photograph © Eric Medsker
Author © Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
All recipes by : Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!