- 2 pounds regular (or smoked) mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 6-inch skewers or fondue forks, for dipping
- Puttanesca Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
Pat mozzarella dry, making sure there is no water on the surface, and set aside. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Combine the milk and eggs and place in a shallow bowl. Stir together the bread crumbs, Essence, and salt and place in a shallow dish.
Heat vegetable oil about 1 1/2 inches deep, in a heavy saucepan or deep-fryer over medium-high heat to 325 to 330 degrees F.
Dredge the mozzarella in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Dip in the egg mixture and then the bread crumbs. Place mozzarella in hot oil and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Allow mozzarella to stand for 3 to 5 minutes before serving, to allow the cheese to melt the entire way through. Serve warm on skewers or fondue forks with Puttanesca Dipping Sauce
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.
Puttanesca Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup pitted, and finely chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon minced anchovy fillets (4 to 5 fillets)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
In a medium pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste, cover and set aside. Serve sauce warm or at room temperature.
Yield: about 3 cups