Mozzarella Schnitzel

2 to 4 slices low-moisture mozzarella
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup panko
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed

Stack enough mozzarella slices to reach about 3/4 centimeter in height. (For me, this is three, but it depends on how thick your slices are.) Gently press down on the stack to encourage the slices to stick together.

Set up a dredging station in this order, leading toward the stove: Flour on a rimmed plate; egg cracked into a shallow bowl or rimmed plate and whisked until smooth; panko on another rimmed plate. Generously season each with salt and pepper.

Set a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to thickly coat the bottom.

While that heats, dredge your mozzarella: Coat the mozzarella stack in flour, then egg, then panko. Press firmly at the last station, so as many crumbs as possible adhere.

Drop a piece of panko into the oil. If it instantly sizzles, you’re ready to cook. If not, wait a little longer.

When the oil is hot, add the breaded mozzarella. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, until deeply browned around the edges and golden in the middle.

Carefully flip, then cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side until you get that same golden-middle, browned-edges color here.

Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and quickly blot both sides and remove excess oil. Eat immediately.

Note:

Serve this with a bright, peppy salad (say, arugula with lemon juice or radicchio with sherry vinegar). And if you want to serve two instead of one, easy-peasy: Just double the amount of mozzarella, make two cheese stacks, and double the amount of panko. Everything else can stay the same. —Emma Laperruque

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