So this recipe, although not about brie, really caught my attention. First, it is all about hot cheese. Secondly, the topping is very different than anything I’ve ever seen, which made making this recipe even more tempting. Third, it’s about hot cheese.
The recipe comes from this cookbook, Barbecue, with an unknown publishing date. I bought it in London, and it was printed in the UK.
So you think this recipe would be about meat, but in the last chapter, entitled The Bits on the Side,” I found the recipe I’m making today, which Mr. Reynaud calls “Crumbed Mozzarella.” The reason being, the mozzarella is covered with a mixture of ground pistachios and bread crumbs. Interesting, yes?!!!
I just knew I had to make it. I’ve only made one other recipe from this book, called surf and turf, which were kabobs, and so far, so good. But this recipe was really odd, which forced me to prepare the mozzarella differently. I didn’t, however, mess with the ingredients.
Baked Crumbed Mozzarella Adapted from Barbecue and Grill
1 – 8 ounce mozzarella ball
1 ounce pistachios
2 teaspoons bread crumbs
Big pinch of thyme
A few grindings of black pepper
Olive oil (optional)
Remove the mozzarella from the plastic and let it sit on paper towels to dry off.
Meanwhile, weigh the pistachios.
Add the bread crumbs, black pepper and thyme.
Place everything in a food processor and process until almost fine; I like a little texture.
Place the mixture on a plate and set aside.
Break the egg into a medium bowl, large enough to fit the mozzarella, and set aside.
Get out a small plate and have handy.
Dip the mozzarella in the egg.
Then place it on the pistachio-bread crumb mixture. Turn the mozzarella around to coat on all sides.
Then place the mozzarella on the small plate and place the plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
Get out a skillet that is well seasoned. Heat it over medium heat. Add the mozzarella ball, and begin to brown it on all sides, although you might do a better job than I did. It was supposed to be done on a hot plate, whatever that is, for a total of 7-8 minutes. The browning process, which Mr. Reynaud simply refers to as cooking of the mozzarella ball, I think is also supposed to cook the egg and create a seal for the cheese.
Right before serving, I gently heated the mozzarella in its serving bowl in the microwave.
Then I served the hot mozzarella with crostini.
note: Mr. Reynaud’s recipe called for 3 mozzarella balls, of undisclosed size, and I just wanted to use one. But I thought it was a poorly written recipe to not have included the weight of the cheese balls. There were other problems as well… But I still love this cookbook!
verdict: The flavors are fabulous! However, I think I’d prefer to chop up fresh mozzarella, place it in an oven-proof shallow baking dish, Top the cheese with pistachio mixture, and bake it. That way, there is more pistachio to mozzarella ratio. Because I find melted mozzarella quite rubbery. I prefer baked brie and camembert…