Homemade mozzarella sticks, breaded and fried in an unmarked Wagner cast iron chicken fryer. These were easy to make and a lot of fun. The cost of these were probably about $5.50, namely $3.50 for a block of mozzarella cheese and $2 for panko bread crumbs. (There's also the cost of frying oil, of course, but you may already have that on hand.) $5.50 might get you a dish of four mozzarella sticks at your local pub or club, Here we ended up with 15 mozzarella sticks. And they turned out delicious, which meant they were worth the effort.
Pans needed: A cast iron pan for deep frying, such as a dutch oven or deep skillete (chicken fryer). You can use a regular cast iron skillet for this, but it will certainly make a big mess! Also, a wire rack for the prepared mozzarella sticks, both before and after frying.
Some tips for getting a good crust on your mozzarella sticks:
Double dip! For each stick, the procedure is: 1) Roll in flour. 2) Roll in egg wash. 3) Dredge in breading. 4) Roll the breaded stick in egg wash a second time. 5) Dredge in breading a second time. 6) Place on rack to harden.
When all of your sticks have been coated and double-coated, take the entire rack and place it in the freezer. Freeze several hours or overnight.
After freezing for several hours, heat oil in cast iron pan to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Most recipes say 350 degrees, but I find that little difference helps to reduce the temperature drop that occurs when frozen sticks are placed into hot oil.
Drop frozen sticks into the hot oil – carefully. With a typical 10-inch wide deep skillet or dutch oven, fry three sticks at a time. You only have to fry them for about 2 and 1/2 minutes. I like to use an hourglass egg timer and take the sticks out of the oil before the sand has completely emptied from the timer.
Place on rack to cool off.
After taking the sticks out of the oil, wait for the oil temperature to rise back to 360 degrees. This will take about five minutes.