Cheese sticks are one of those things everyone loves, but you usually have to go out and overpay to get them. You can get them pre-made in the store to deep fry at home…but that means hauling out the deep fryer and running the risk of cheesy explosions. No one wants that. The cheese stays in the stick… or uh schtick.
This cheese stick recipe is fairly easy once you get the hang of it and will be a go-to when looking for a fun and entertaining appetizer.
What makes these stand out is the coating. When testing them, I originally wrapped them in bacon and then fried them. While tasty and workable, it was a little hard to do and you had to make sure you cut your bacon to the right length before frying it. Then you could only partially cook the bacon, because it had to still wrap around the cheese stick. See, way too much work.
Then inspiration struck – twice! Coat the sticks in pork rinds – not just bread crumbs. Then, skip the bacon strips and process bacon crumbs for a simple, dare we say, genius breading!
And boom went the dynamite. The end result is a salty, cheesy morsel with tons of flavor depth. The pork rinds help with the coating and lend a unique flavor, and the bacon…well, it’s bacon. Add in the extra dosing of Italian seasoning and your mouth will never want to go to a chain restaurant again for their cheese sticks. Plus, doing this on the stovetop keeps the cheese stick from exploding while submersed in hot oil. This recipe is a win, all the way around!
Ohh, and a quick note – you now have the recipe for encrusting food in bacon! Play with the seasoning and see what else you can let your bacon hug!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 1 strip of bacon
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 ounce pork rinds
- 1 tbsp italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp italian breadcrumbs
- 1 egg white
- 3 cheese sticks
- reserved bacon fat
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Cook your bacon until just about crispy and set to the side to dry. Make sure you get as much moisture as you can off of it. Retain all the bacon fat in your skillet for frying later. In a food processor, add your pork rinds and process until a powder. Now, add your bacon and process until well mixed. (This order is important to keep the fat in the bacon from clumping together.) In a large bowl, add half of the flour, your bacon/pork rind mix and the remaining dry ingredients. Mix well. In two small bowls, place the remaining flour in one and the egg white in the other. Now set up a station that goes flour, egg whites, and coating mix. Take your cheese sticks and cut into thirds. In the cold skillet, roll the cheese sticks around quickly to coat in bacon fat. Remove them, set your skillet to medium and add in your olive oil. Now roll in flour, then egg white, then coating. Once all are done, place in your hot skillet and cook until just brown, 3-4 minutes, and roll them over for another 3-4 minutes. When done, place on a towel to dry and serve with your favorite sauce.
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