I have another food memory for you. Pan fried mozzarella moons. I used to order them at my favorite restaurant. You don't see them too often on restaurant menus. In fact, I've never seen them except at this one place I used to go in the summer. It's the same restaurant that inspired my Shrimp & Gorgonzola Dip recipe. Pan fried mozzarella moons are such a happy food memory. It's fried, cheesy and the red sauce and fresh basil put it over the top.
Restaurants serve many purposes in life. It's an outing, an adventure, a social experience. There are sounds and smells and flavors. It can be a place you go to grab a few appetizers or a full dinner. I was in a snacking phase back when I frequented this particular hot spot. And this restaurant delivered, in my opinion, the absolute best appetizers in town.
ANYONE can throw frozen mozzarella sticks - from a bag of 100 frozen mozzarella sticks - into a vat of oil. ANYONE can open a jar of factory-made red sauce. There is no skill there. No effort. And hey, I get it, we all take short cuts and use the jarred stuff. I do it too. However, there are times when you need the real thing.
The real thing is worth it - every time!
My old, favorite stomping ground had a special vibe. The staff was welcoming, the ambiance was dim-lit with hipster music, comfortable bar stools and house made bread so good it will make you cry. The coolest bartender in town stood ready to shake, stir, pour and delight with tennis match-like repartee bandying about in every direction. My chocolate martini phase was in full swing back then and I would get drunk on just one of them. Never could handle my liquor.
The bread so good it will make you cry and the best pan fried mozzarella were my summer go-to. This was real-deal, made-to-order (as if I need to state that) fried mozzarella moons with house made, chunky tomato sauce and fresh basil. I didn't know such a culinary pleasure existed until the moment of that first bite. Frozen mozzarella sticks were so clearly in my rear-view mirror I couldn't believe I ever ate them.
And over time, I learned just how easy it is to make the best pan fried mozzarella. It's not that hard to do and it's such a delicious snack that everyone will love. So why not make the effort? And when I say effort: buy fresh mozzarella, prep a breading station (egg, flour, bread crumbs) and fry some cheese. Dang, it's not that hard!
Essential Accoutrements for the best result
If you're making pan fried mozzarella you will need two essential toppings. Red sauce and fresh basil. You can use your favorite jarred marinara - I get it, I get it. A compelling argument can be made for Rao's fantastic marinara sauce and several other jarred options as well.
However, if you're a fan of my blog (I know I have a fan out there somewhere), you know that I have a fabulous homemade Big Batch Spaghetti Sauce recipe. And if you're a superfan, you've actually made it! Normally, I would use a marinara sauce for fried mozzarella, but my homemade spaghetti sauce tastes really great with these. And bonus: I always have that on hand in my freezer so whipping up this pan fried mozzarella is a breeze!
I hope you give this one a try and that you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! It's great to serve a crowd and there will not be one crumb left! Enjoy!
Make now, eat now and freeze the leftovers
By the way, you can FREEZE THESE!!! If you're making them just for two, don't worry about it. I wrapped my leftovers in packs of four and FROZE them. Simply defrost overnight in the fridge when you're ready for more and reheat in your toaster oven at 350 degrees until they're ready. I do place a piece of foil over them (not wrapped, just place on top so they don't burn). Remove the foil in the last few minutes to get them crispy again.Print