Jeff Mauro’s Beer Battered Italian Mozza Balls | The Kitchen | Food Network

Jeff fries up perfectly poppable balls of fresh mozzarella to dip in his own pepperoni pizza-inspired marinara sauce!
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Beer Battered Italian Mozza Balls
Level: Intermediate
Total: 55 min
Active: 25 min
Yield: 20 mozza balls


Beer Batter:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
One 11-ounce bottle COLD Italian lager, like Peroni

Pepperoni MauroNara Sauce:

2 tablespoons giardiniera oil
4 ounces pepperoni (about 1/2 stick), casing removed and minced until fine in a food processor
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons mild giardiniera in oil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated on rasp
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper

Mozzarella Balls:

8 cups peanut oil
1/4 cup rice flour
Two 8-ounce tubs of ciliegine mozzarella balls (a little smaller than bocconcini)
Kosher salt


Make the beer batter: Whisk together the all-purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add in 1 cup of the beer while lightly whisking, adding more beer if necessary to yield a thick pancake batter consistency. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes. The batter may thicken as it sits so add enough beer to get it back to a thick pancake batter consistency just before using.

Make the Pepperoni MauroNara: Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the giardiniera oil, pepperoni, Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt. Gently sauté until the fat starts to render out. Add the giardiniera and continue to cook until the pepperoni softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add in the crushed tomatoes, stir and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Fry the mozzarella balls: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Fit a sheet pan with a wire rack. Add the peanut oil to a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and heat to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat.

Put the rice flour in a baking dish. Dredge the mozzarella balls in the flour until fully coated (this makes the batter stick to the cheese). Drop the mozzarella balls into the beer batter. Gently remove the battered balls with a spider or 2 forks and carefully submerge in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mozz balls to the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with salt. Hold in the oven while you fry the remaining mozz balls.

Serve the cheese balls with warm Pepperoni MauroNara.

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Jeff Mauro’s Beer Battered Italian Mozza Balls | The Kitchen | Food Network

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