Recipe: Fried Cheese With Fresh Tomato Sauce

Active Work Time: 1 hour

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus 1 1/2 hours chilling


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 large onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 large, ripe tomatoes, diced

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup minced parsley


Freshly ground pepper

* Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Add onion and saute over high heat until transparent, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, add sugar, and saute until tomatoes are very soft, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cool. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.


1 pound mozzarella cheese, finely diced

6 eggs

1 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons dry vermouth or brandy

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 sprigs parsley, stems removed

4 fresh basil leaves

1 cup flour

Oil, for frying

* Melt mozzarella in double boiler set over, but not touching, simmering water. Pour it into large mixing bowl of an electric mixer and beat in 2 eggs. Add 1/4 cup bread crumbs, oregano, half the garlic, and salt and mix well.

* Press cheese mixture into 8-inch square glass dish. Cover and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.


* Lightly beat remaining 4 eggs in bowl. Blend in vermouth. Set aside.

* In a processor or blender, process remaining bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil and remaining garlic. Set aside.

* Cut cheese mixture into 1 1/2-inch squares (about 15 pieces). Dip each into flour, then egg mixture, and finally into bread crumb mixture to coat evenly. Place on paper towels and refrigerate 30 minutes.

* Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in heavy skillet or deep fryer. Fry cheese pieces, a few at a time, until evenly golden brown on both sides, 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Serve at once with Fresh Tomato Sauce.

6 servings. Each serving: 491 calories; 767 mg sodium; 185 mg cholesterol; 34 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 22 grams protein; 1.19 grams fiber.