What is better than some hot, crispy golden mozzarella sticks? Dipped into marinara sauce, gooey white cheesy goodness oozing out with every bite... You say "local craft beer"? Well, DUH... we totally agree!
Well then, what would you say if I told you that in this weeks Beer Down Here Test Kitchen, we have a recipe that will satisfy BOTH of these amazing things? MIND BLOWN!
Read on for our recipe for NOLA Hurricane Saison-battered Mozzarella Sticks. This wonderful saison is NOLA Brewing's summer seasonal. The Belgian yeast contribute nice fruity esters and the addition of cumin, peppercorns, and grains of paradise add an additional layer of complexity to the beer batter.
6 oz NOLA Hurricane Saison (and of course, drink the rest!)
2 large eggs
1-1/2 6 oz bag fish fry (we like "Oak Grove Smokehouse's Fish Fry with Creole Seasoning" but use your favorite)
1 box Italian bread crumbs
1 tbsp Creole Seasoning of choice
1 lb brick of Mozzarella cheese (or try something like Pepper-jack or smoked Gouda if you're feeling wild N crazy!
Cut the cheese into 1"x1"x4" sticks and put them in the freezer while you prep the beer-batter.
Add 3 oz of fish fry, eggs, and creole seasoning to large mixing bowl and slowly add the beer, whisking thoroughly to ensure that it's blended fully without clumps.
Grab two more large bowls and add a 6 oz bag of fish fry to one and the container of Italian breadcrumbs to the other.
Take your cheese out of the freezer and drop them one at a time into the batter. Make sure that each one of these scrumptious delicacies are evenly coated in the batter to avoid a devastating explosion of all your cheesy goodness.
Next, dredge the wet cheese sticks through the fish fry.
Thoroughly mix the stick in the wet batter again.
Evenly coat the stick in the bowl of breadcrumbs
Repeat Step 4-7 until all of your little cheese sticks are surrounded with a nice thick layer of beer-batter and breadcrumb armor before they go into the fryer
Pop all of your beer battered cheese sticks back in the freezer to set up and hang out for about 15-20 minutes. This helps them to hold their shape and allows the coating to set up a bit when it hits the hot oil before they go in the fryer so the cheesy center doesn't ooze out.
While your sticks are chillin... literally, pre-heat your oil to 400* F and have yourself a local craft beer
After the mozzarella sticks have had enough time to set up, its time to fry! Add about four or five into the hot oil and fry until nice and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Although they are much easier to watch then time.
Remove the sticks to a paper-towel lined plate and repeat Step 11 until all of your sticks are fried
Serve these delicious bastards with some homemade marinara sauce (see recipe link below) or a nice cup of Ranch dressing, or whatever else the kids are eating their Mozzarella sticks with now-a-days.
Try pairing your sticks with NOLA Brown Ale. It is light enough as to not overpower the mozzarella but the pleasantly sweet malt profile will compliment the beer batter and the saltiness of the cheese
As always, we would love to know what you think about this recipe. Hit us up on social media @beerdownhere and #beerdownhere or drop us an email.