Polenta-Coated Mozzarella Sticks & Ainsley’s Bloody Mary
From Ainsley’s Food We Love, ITV
Great for a cheeky snack and perfect with a Bloody Mary on a lazy Sunday! Make sure the mozzarella is well coated in polenta to prevent the cheese from oozing out when cooking.
For the Mozzarella Chips
Slice the mozzarella block into 10 x 1cm slices, then cut each slice into 3 giving you 30 chips. Tip the seasoned flour into a bowl, put the eggs into a second and the polenta, cayenne and thyme into a third bowl.
Coat the mozzarella sticks in the flour, then the egg, then the polenta. Repeat the egg and polenta steps to ensure you have a thick coating for an extra crispy shell. Carefully place them on a lined tray and freeze for at least 2 hours.
Heat enough oil to come 3cm up the side of a saucepan. When hot, drop in a test chip – it should sizzle straight away and brown within a minute or two. Cook in batches until brown on the outside and the cheese is soft and oozing in the middle. Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot.
For the Spicy Bloody Mary
Place the tomato juice in a large cocktail shaker with 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp hot pepper sauce, 1 tsp celery salt, lime juice and grated horseradish. Fill up with ice and shake well until chilled. Add the vodka and sherry and shake again.
Taste and adjust for strength, seasoning and spice. Strain into tall glasses and top with the remaining ice. Serve with a celery stick, a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and a wedge of lime.
- For the Mozzarella Chips
- 400g block of hard mozzarella
- 50g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 250g fine polenta
- 1 tsp cayenne or paprika
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- sunflower oil, for frying
- For the Spicy Bloody Mary
- 800g good quality tomato juice
- 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp hot pepper sauce
- 1-1 ½ tsp celery salt
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp of grated fresh horseradish
- crushed ice
- 150ml vodka
- 50ml dry sherry
- 4-6 celery sticks
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- freshly ground black pepper