Just about everyone loves fried cheese sticks. Our version of this favorite appetizer gets a punch of heat from ground red pepper and cheese spiced with jalapenos. To tame the heat, use plain Monterey Jack (without the peppers), mozzarella or Swiss cheese, and either omit the red pepper or use less of it.
2 (8-oz.) pkgs. Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 cup fine, dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley
4 eggs, beaten
Optional: marinara sauce
How to Make It
Cut cheese crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Lay slices flat and cut in half lengthwise.
Combine flour and red pepper; stir well. Combine bread crumbs and parsley in another bowl; stir well. Dip cheese sticks in beaten eggs. Dredge in flour mixture. Dip coated cheese in egg again; dredge in bread crumb mixture, pressing firmly so that crumbs adhere. Place cheese sticks on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze at least 30 minutes.
Fry cheese sticks in 375-degree deep oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.