(not) Fried Cheese Sticks!

03CheeseSticksbfLOSo, yeh, these crispity cheese sticks melted and spread a wee, tiny bit, but that was probably because I was also watching those tasty chicken fingers

they were still pretty darned good, tho’.

And a fair sight better for you than the frozen fried stuff you’ll find at your local chain restaurant or grocer’s freezer case.

I tweaked the original recipe, from the very nice folk at Cooking Light just a bit…

01aCheeseSlicedbfLOI used a whole egg in place of just an egg white, made two dozen sticks instead of just three (I believe they planned this as an after school treat for one), and served some of my own, doctored tomato sauce for dipping – nice, with just a bit of a bite.

01bPankoToastedbfLOAll in all, even with the wee, tiny bit of melting, I will make these again – mebbe I’ll try freezing the cut cheese sticks before breading and baking.

•2 cups panko
•8 sticks string cheese (Mozzarella)
•1 egg
•Cooking spray
•Marinara sauce

02aCheeseEggbfLOHeat oven to 425°, line a baking pan with foil, apply cooking spray, then set aside.

Toast the panko in a large pan over medium heat for two minutes, then transfer to a shallow bowl and let cool.

Whisk the egg in a small bowl, then slice each stick of cheese in thirds.

Dip the cut cheese sticks, two or three at a time, in the beaten egg, then roll in the cooled panko to coat.

04bChickenFingersPlatebfLOTransfer to the prepared baking pan and repeat with the remaining cheese sticks.

The original recipe called for baking for three minutes, at which point I thought the sticks looked a bit underdone, so I went for five to seven minutes (and got that wee, tiny bit of melting and spreading).

Mebbe because I’d made extra cheese?

Mebbe because I had the chicken in the oven as well?

Who knows? It was still very, very nice, and practically perfect with those chicken fingers and a bit of cucumber salad, so I, for one, will not be bothered about a wee, tiny bit of melting and spreading.

More, please.

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