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Spicy Salami Mozzarella Sticks
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Recipe courtesy of Alex Guarnaschelli

Spicy Salami Mozzarella Sticks with Vodka Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 18 sticks
These are the pigs in a blanket of the Italian American appetizer world! I love a slightly creamy tomato sauce and the punchy heat from a layer of spicy salami. You can also use prosciutto. Fry the sticks as close to eating as you can. They only keep warm and gooey in the oven for a short time. You can fully bread and freeze them, unfried, for another day and just pop out, defrost and fry as well. Bottom line: You can never make enough!


Vodka Sauce:


Special equipment:
a deep-fry thermometer
  1. Form the sticks: Place two slices of salami on a cutting board so that they are overlapping and slightly longer than the mozzarella stick. Wrap up the mozzarella stick so it is completely covered in the salami and transfer, seam side down, to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat wrapping the remaining mozzarella sticks with the salami. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. While the mozzarella sticks are chilling, place the flour, egg mixture and breadcrumbs in separate wide shallow containers.
  3. Working with one at a time, roll the mozzarella sticks in the flour and shake off any excess. Roll the sticks in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Double coat by rolling the sticks in the egg mixture and breadcrumbs a second time. Arrange on a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with all of the sticks and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Fry the sticks: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Pour the oil into a deep, heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Working in batches, carefully drop the sticks into the oil and gently “swirl” the oil so they fry more evenly on all sides. Fry until they are light to medium brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the mozzarella sticks with a slotted spoon or spider and lay them out in a single layer on the wire rack. Repeat until all are cooked. Keep warm in the oven if needed.
  5. Serve: Serve the mozzarella sticks with warm vodka sauce for dunking.

Vodka Sauce:

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups
  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt. Stir in the vodka, sugar and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 to 8 minutes over high heat, stirring from time to time. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the cream. Puree in a blender until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.