Fried Mozzarella with Blood Orange Bourbon Sauce

When I made Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce for the big game day, I posted that it would be great with deep-fried mozzarella in place of the standard marinara. Today was the day to test that theory.


As predicted, the pairing of deep-fried, cheesy sticks of molten mozzarella cheese and blood orange dipping sauce is a winner. This sauce elevates the cheesy appetizer, rumored to have been around since the 14th century, to new heights. I loved this.  The sauce takes a bit of time to prepare but is well worth the effort. I plan to freeze the extra sauce and bring it out again the next time I make mozzarella cheese sticks.

Deep Fried Mozzarella Sticks


Serves: 2-3

  • Mozzarella sticks (I used block cheese, cut into sticks 4" in length)
  • Beaten Egg
  • Italian style bread crumbs
  • Canola Oil
  1. Cut the mozzarella cheese into sticks about a half-inch in diameter and four inches in length. I made eight of these for two people but you can adjust for your needs. Beat an egg with a fork and pour onto a shallow plate. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a shallow plate. Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep pot on the stove to 350 degrees or until a pinch of bread crumbs sizzle when added to the oil. Using a wire spatula, lower the cheese, two pieces at a time into the hot oil. Cook until light golden brown and remove immediately to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Do not leave these in the hot oil for more than a few seconds or the cheese will melt break out of the breading. You will end up with a big mess. They cook really fast so don't turn your back on them. Finish cooking, two at a time. You can keep them warm in a 250 degree oven until all are done.


From Taylor Takes a Taste.

Blood Orange Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Makes 2 1/4 cups

4 Tablespoons bacon drippings

1 cup chopped yellow onions

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

2 (6 oz.) cans pineapple juice

2/3 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup bourbon

2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Tablespoon molasses ( we used Grandma’s unsulphured)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, red pepper, pepper and paprika. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
2. Add the pineapple juice, blood orange juice, vinegar, sugar, bourbon and lemon juice. Stir until the sauce is well blended. Add the molasses and Worcestershire sauce. Stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat. Continue to cook the sauce at a low simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.Remove the sauce from the heat. Using a immersion blender, blend the sauce until it is smooth. Serve or refrigerate for later use.


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  1. Cynthia says

    I love mozzarella! And this sounds like the perfect dipping sauce. Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

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