I AGONISED over what to cook for this week. Like South Africa, the USA seems so diverse in it’s cooking that it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which dishes are originally USA. So many dishes I found originated elsewhere, and then USA has made it their own. I tried to look at individual states to find something to make that was traditional and manageable to cook. I was also once again limited by not cooking anything with meat (which rules out meatloaf, sloppy joes and corndogs). I also couldn’t cook anything sweet (Lent again, which rules out apple pie) and I refuse to cook anything during this challenge that I don’t get to taste for myself.
I ended up deciding on Mozzarella Sticks. Not limited to the USA, but according to Wikipedia, they originated there. There were a variety of recipes available online, but the one I settled on can be found here.
The preparation was exceptionally quick. I used a tiny pan so that I didn’t have to use too much oil. I really am struggling with some of the recipes requiring frying – It’s really difficult to get the oil to the right heat without a deep fryer. It seemed to be hot enough though, although possibly too hot in that the cheese started to melt too much before the outside had a chance to go brown (mine certainly don’t look like the picture on the recipe). Some people in the comments section mention dipping the cheese in egg first, then flour, then egg again and then breadcrumbs – this is something I could have tried.
I wouldn’t say they failed, because they were really delicious, but they probably weren’t the best they could have been – they weren’t brown enough and a bit limp if you ask me (yes, I said limp). But, like I’ve said before, the point is not to create a successful meal, but to cook something from another country. My honours research supervisor told me that my research did not have to be successful, I did not have to discover what I thought I might discover. The point of my research was to conduct research, even if it fails. My research, like this dish today, did kind of fail, but luckily I have enough ego strength to carry on trying!