I’m trying to come up with ideas for Christmas dinner to share here. Some people go for the turkey or roast lamb. This I will not share now, unless I make mine this Christmas dinner, which up till now I haven’t decided on the menu, and decide to share it here.
I’m not a big fan of the Lebanese way of serving turkey. It’s like the regular Sunday lunch Riz A’a Djej (rice with chicken and fried nuts) but with a turkey instead. Last year’s feast included 2 turkeys since mom and I spent the whole day in the kitchen to cater for the extended family dinner. I manhandled a turkey, giving it a butter massage while mom had her turkey deboned and wrapped and tied with seasoning and aromatic vegetables inside. We also prepared bread stuffing and my roasted vegetables as sides and a pumpkin pie as dessert. This year I’m thinking of something different. I still haven’t decided.
For now, I’m thinking of sides as finger food. I found an old recipe I prepared and kept aside. It’s easy, delicious and can be prepared way ahead of time to be cooked on the spot; Mozzarella balls with marinara dip.
These gooey balls of fresh cheese are a suitable side for any occasion. Their crunchy shells contrast the soft interior and give enough texture to hold the dip for a complete flavor.
You need to prepare this recipe at least an hour before cooking to give the cheese enough time to freeze and maintain itself through frying time. Go ahead and make them now then stack them in the freezer for quick party fix. Prepare a simple marinara sauce and keep it in the refrigerator as well till serving time. The only downside is that they have to be served freshly fried and hot.
Deep Fried Mozzarella Balls
- 1 pack mini fresh mozzarella cheese balls
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Ground oregano, basil or your favorite herb (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the marinara dip
Use the tomato sauce from this recipe and add a teaspoon of each, dried basil and oregano with the garlic, oil and pepper flakes
- Drain the Mozzarella balls and dry thoroughly using a paper towel
Prepare you dipping containers: Mix the salt and pepper (and herbs, if using any) with the flour in a flat dish, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water (add a tsp of vinegar too if you like), and arrange the breadcrumbs or panko in a flat dish
- Take a Mozzarella ball and dip it in the flour mixture and shake off the excess
- Using a fork or 2 toothpicks, dip in the egg mixture then coat with panko or breadcrumbs
- Arrange in a freezer safe container. Separate layers with cling film
- Freeze for 1 hour if you’re frying directly, or keep covered in the freezer for another day
- Heat the oil well in a deep fryer or pan and drop the balls directly from the freezer into the hot oil without overcrowding
- Fry until golden and crispy
- Remove and drain on a paper towel
- Serve immediately