'Pizza & A Beer' Mozzarella Sticks

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Ingredients (20)

  • === For the Sweltering Blue Moon Mozzarella Sticks===
  • One bag of mozzarella string cheese sticks (12 sticks), each cut in half and kept cold, or 12 ounces of the mozzarella of your choice cut into 24 sticks.
  • One 12 ounce bottle of Blue Moon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 quarts canola, peanut, or grapeseed oil, or enough to fill your deep fryer - the oil can be reused
  • === For the Pepperoni Marinara Dipping Sauce===
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 lb thinly sliced pepperoni
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 12 ounce can of plum tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste

Summary

Who doesn’t like pepperoni pizza and beer? Here, that low-key Friday night combination is turned on its head. This dish combines a classic starter with a spin off of one of today’s most talked about sauces. The result is exciting and new, yet comforting and familiar. Above all, it tastes great. Blue Moon is ideal for this batter. It adds that delicious yeasty flavor to evoke a good pizza crust, but doesn’t overwhelm with bitterness.

Instructions

  1. 1Start the marinara sauce first. Saute the onion and pepperoni in the olive oil over medium heat on a large saute pan for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute one minute longer.
  2. 2Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and oregano, then cover and simmer gently for an hour.
  3. 3Transfer to a food processor or blender (preferably a powerful one) and blend until smooth, adding small increments of water if needed to help blend. Add the butter and balsamic, blend until incorporated, add salt to taste (you might not need any). Keep the sauce warm.
  4. 4So we have the tomato sauce and pepperoni covered. What do we still need? The cheese, the crust, and of course the beer! Sift the flour, paprika, and chipotle powder together into a large bowl. Mix in the salt.
  5. 5In another bowl, stir the Blue Moon with the egg yolks until well mixed.
  6. 6In a deep saucepan or deep fryer, heat the oil to 375 degrees.
  7. 7While the oil is heating, whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the beer and egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix. Some lumps are okay. Then fold in the egg whites and gently mix until incorporated.
  8. 8Dip the mozzarella sticks in the batter and deep fry them in batches of 6 until crispy, about 2-3 minutes, turning them as needed in the oil to keep them separate and ensure even frying.
  9. 9Remove to a wire rack while cooking the next batch. Serve with the pepperoni marinara dipping sauce. Garnish with any leftover oregano.
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