Saturday, November 21, 2015

Filo-Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks

Filo-Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks are a quick and impressive hot appetizer to pass around or place on top of a simple green salad.  By wrapping each stick of cheese in prosciutto, you get extra flavor and prevent the cheese from oozing out before the filo is browned.  The saltiness of the Prociutto ham is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the quince paste.  If you cannot find quince paste, any good quality jam or an apple butter would work well.  Experiment with fig or apricot jam.

Filo-Wrapped Mozzarella Sticks
Makes 16 appetizers, recipe easily doubled

Ingredients
1/2 pound low-moisture mozzarella
8 slices prosciutto, cut in half
1/4 cup quince paste, apple butter or other not to sweet jam
16 sheets filo dough (wrapped well or covered)
1/4 cup melted butter

Method
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil the sheet.
  2.  Cut mozzarella cheese into 16 long sticks.  Lay each on a slice of prosciutto.  Place a small amount of quince paste, about half a teaspoon, along the cheese on the ham.  
  3. Start rolling the cheese in the ham.  As you roll, the quince paste will spread along the roll.
  4. Open the filo and follow package directions about keeping the sheets moist as you work.  
  5. Take a single sheet of filo and lay it on a flat surface. Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter over entire sheet.  Do not worry about small tears in the filo.  It is more forgiving than it appears.
  6. Place a wrapped piece of cheese at the bottom center of the buttered filo sheet.  Begin to roll the cheese stick until wrapped twice.  Stop rolling and fold in the sides.  Butter the top layer of filo and continue rolling until the cheeses is completely packaged.
  7. Place each wrapped cheese stick on prepared baking sheet. You can place sitcks quite close to each other but not touching.  Give each sitck a final brush of butter.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Let sticks rest 5 minutes before serving to allow them to firm up a little. 
Filo sticks may be preapred in advance and frozen.  No need to deforst; add 3-5 minutes of baking time.

Do not use fresh mozzarella in this recipe. The type of cheese used here is readily available at supermarkets and comes in whole milk and skim milk varieties.  You can also use a smoked mozzarella for this recipe.