Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fried Mozzarella Steaks with Crispy Salami

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? on February, 6, 2011.
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Every Day with Rachael Ray, October 2008.

Every time I eat a mozzarella stick, I wonder how it was made.  Cheese melts in heat and super hot oil has a lot of heat.  So I was really interested in making this dish, if not for anything but the experience of making cheese sticks without melting them in the pan.  Aw, who am I kidding – I LOVE CHEESE STICKS!!!  What I wasn’t expecting, was loving the salad that came with the recipe more than the cheese steaks themselves.

My finished product:

© You Want Me to Cook?

Picture published with recipe:

© Every Day with Rachael Ray
Maybe I’m crazy (and definitely biased) but if I was offered these two plates and told to choose, I’d pick mine.  My cheese steaks look thicker and have a perfect golden crust.  Also, my salad doesn’t look like it’s been wilted.  I was super excited to get to try these, but I had to wait until I finished my Fontina, Caramelized-Onion and Pancetta Pizzas for our Super Bowl Fiesta.  I’m glad I made them save at least one steak and some salad for me.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessSIGH – There are a lot of dishes to making this dish, but that’s the least of the mess.  You have to bread the cheese before frying it… which means you have to dip it in egg and then into bread crumbs.  The egg gets all over the cabinet and the bread crumbs get everywhere else.  The olive oil can pop all over the stove if you don’t pay close enough attention to it.  Yeah, this is a messy dish to make, but it is worth it.

Start-to-Finish Time: UNDER AN HOUR – Luckily you don’t have a lot of prep work to do, but you do have to cook the salami, mushrooms, and cheese steaks all independently of each other.  It doesn’t take long to do each, but even 5 minutes here-and-there add up.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – everything is easy to slice and chop.  I was most worried about having to slice the brick of cheese, and I did break one of my slices, but it ended up being a lot easier than I thought.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – For some reason, I really thought this was going to be a lot harder than it was.  But when it came right down to it, it was like breading and frying chicken.  You just had to be a little more watchful since chicken can’t melt in the pan.

OverallYUMMY – this will certainly be my first course for a fun dinner party.  However, I’ve made the salad numerous times, it is THAT good.

Recipe Information:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Nutritional Information

Rachael Ray gives you 40 minutes to get this done from start to finish.  Her prep time includes breading the cheese, but I don’t think that is nearly enough.  When I made the dish, here was how it broke down:
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Assembly Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
Granted, my skillet is small, so I had to do multiple batches, but this was still fairly reasonable.

The number of servings is for 2 steaks per person and a little over 2 ounces of salad with salami, mushrooms and dressing.  That is a lot of food for an appetizer.  You probably could get away with one steak per person and doubling the salad to that it makes a nice opening dish to your entrĂ©e.

As usual, there is no nutritional information on this dish, but safe to guess it isn’t the healthiest.  You are using whole milk mozzarella cheese that is breaded and fried (even if it is olive oil), so make this a treat you have on special occasions than an everyday kind of dish.

Changes denoted by red text

¼ pound thinly sliced hard premium salami, cut into thin strips
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
One package (6 ounces) portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped
Salt and pepper
1½ cups seasoned breadcrumbs
3 large eggs
One 1-pound brick whole-milk mozzarella, cut lengthwise into 8 slices
One bag (9 ounces) heads of romaine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Ingredient Notes:
  • I used premium hard salami that I purchased from the premium cheese and meat section in the deli.  The salami really makes or breaks the dish, so make sure you buy a decent quality meat.
  • When I first went over the recipe, I read it as salami that was sliced into thin strips, so that’s what I did.  They meant for the salami slices to be thin, but the way I did it wasn't "wrong".  I actually enjoyed the crispy texture of the small pieces of salami, and it made it easier to eat in the salad.  Each time I’ve made the salad, I’ve made it the same way.

Portobello Mushroom Caps – the gills are the part of the mushroom inside the cap.  When you remove them, the cap should resemble a steak.

Romaine Lettuce – the recipe said mixed greens, but I really don’t care for mixed greens and had heads of romaine on hand.

Balsamic Vinegar – if you’ve got quality balsamic vinegar, you want to use it for this salad dressing.

Equipment Needed:
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Spoon - scrape mushrooms
Large skillet
Large spoon
Paper towels
Large bowl
(2) Shallow Bowls
Fork - beat eggs
Parchment Paper / Waxed Paper
Flexible spatula

Equipment Notes:
Parchment Paper – the recipe called for the cheese steaks resting on waxed paper, but I used parchment paper that I had on hand.

Flexible SpatulaThis spatula is still rigid enough to flip the cheese, but its slight flexibility keeps you from scraping off the breading

(1)  In a large skillet, cook the salami over medium heat, stirring, until just browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per batch; drain on paper towels.

I tweaked the recipe here to reflect that we aren't frying whole pieces of salami.  I wouldn't be truthful if I left out the fact that I set off the smoke alarm while performing this step.  Keep your eye on the pan and stir frequently.

(2)  In the skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.

(3)  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, turning, until tender, about 8 minutes; thinly slice and transfer to a large bowl.

(4)  Meanwhile, transfer the breadcrumbs to a plate.

(5)  In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs.

(6)  Coat each cheese slice in breadcrumbs, dip in the egg, then coat again with breadcrumbs; place on a sheet of wax/parchment paper.

(7)  In the same skillet, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium-high heat.

(8)  Add 4 cheese slices and cook until crisp, about 1 minute on each side; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining cheese slices.

I couldn’t fit 4 slices in the pan, so I had to do an extra batch.

(9)  Add the mixed greens, vinegar, salami and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and toss.

(10)  Place 2 mozzarella steaks on each of 4 plates and serve with the salad.

You might be tempted to skip the salad & enjoy the cheese steaks, but don’t.  It is SO GOOD!!!  The cheese steaks were perfect and complemented the salad well.  Like I said, we’ve eaten the salad several more times and my next party, I’ll be making these as an appetizer.

No comments:

Post a Comment