String Cheese

A few weeks ago I went to Costco and bought some string cheese. Hubby doesn’t really like plain cheese so I quickly grew pretty bored with eating it by itself. Then I started thinking of all the fantastic things I could cook using string cheese. Here are two that hubby and I created together that I thought I would share.

Cheesy Chicken Sliders

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
2-4 string cheese (depending on desired cheesiness)
rolls (we used pretzel rolls, but any type should do)
olive oil
salt and pepper
any other spices (we used rosemary and thyme)
side fruit or vegetable

Directions:
Cut the raw chicken into pieces about as big as the rolls. Cut thin for faster cooking times and smaller sandwiches. Season as desired and cook in olive oil on the stovetop.


We used a burger skillet with seven circular areas to
cook the small pieces of chicken in olive oil and spices.

While the chicken is cooking, peel the string cheese, cut it in half, and separate the halves into tiny stringy pieces. Cut the rolls in half and toast if desired.


Two pieces of string cheese. We decided later we wanted more.

If you want the cheese completely melted (like wifey), once the chicken in done cooking, turn the stovetop to medium-high and gently place the desired amount of cheese on each chicken piece. Cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute or until melted. Add the chicken to the roll and serve with a side fruit or vegetable.

If you don’t want the cheese completely melted (like hubby), put the cheese on the roll. When the chicken is done cooking, add the chicken to the roll with the cheese and serve with a side fruit or vegetable.


Hubby’s preferred method is to let the warm chicken
melt the string cheese rather than melt it on the stovetop.

If desired, keep the cooked olive oil with spices and dip the sandwiches in it.


The oil with the sandwiches tasted amazing.

This is an excessively simple recipe but I chose to share it because you can use it as a basis for many other dinner meals. You can eliminate the rolls and make it gluten-free or carb-free. You can eliminate the cheese and make it dairy-free. You can cook the chicken like this and add it to a salad for another gluten-free or carb-free option. You can spice this completely differently, like with red pepper flakes, and change the flavor. You can even use this as an appetizer for a party. Just be sure that you always test chicken for doneness before serving!

Speaking of parties…

Mozzarella Sticks

Ingredients:
10 string cheese

1 c. flour
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 T. parsley
1 c. breadcrumbs
vegetable oil

Preparation:
none

Approximate Cooking Time:
45 minutes – 1 hour (serve these immediately)

Directions:
Cut each string cheese in half, so that each piece is round and about 2 knuckles long. Get 3 large, shallow bowls ready. In one, put the flour. In another, put the eggs. Whip the eggs until the yolks are incorporated into the whites then add the milk. Mix. In the last bowl add the breadcrumbs and the parsley and mix. Grab a clean plate, and place everything in this order: string cheese, flour, eggs and milk, breadcrumbs, clean plate. For each string cheese piece, coat it in flour, the egg mixture, and the breadcrumbs in that order. Then place it on the plate.


The cheese and the flour.


The egg mixture and the breadcrumbs.

Once the plate is full, put it in the freezer (no need to cover it) for 20-30 minutes.


The first few are ready for the freezer!

When the plate is out of the freezer, heat vegetable oil on medium-high or high. The more oil you put in the pan, the easier it is to cook these without breaking them. Put at least 2 cm of oil in but no more than 5 cm (which should cover the string cheese). When the oil is very hot, add the cheese sticks. After 30 seconds, rotate each stick. After another 30 seconds, each stick should be beginning to turn golden brown. Take each stick out as soon as you see that color change. If you cook the sticks too long the stick will fall apart because the cheese will be so melted that the breadcrumbs will fall off! Serve immediately.


I would post a picture of the sticks once they are done but someone ate them really fast… or maybe I should say a bunch of someones (including myself!)… we had only a few left once I stopped eating and remembered my camera!

Hubby says these actually taste better as leftovers but I disagree. I prefer them piping hot. Wouldn’t be the first time we disagreed on food… but at least we both agree that this recipe is a keeper. Thanks to http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2010/05/panko-mozzarella-sticks/ for the inspiration.

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