During my fourteen years of being sans meat, I’ve found that when you ask a vegetarian “Why aren’t you a vegan?” Their response is either “too expensive” or “cheese.” In order to help my fellow comrades out, I’m scouring the internet for the cheesiest recipes around. This blog series will follow my journey in recreating the best, cheesy meat-free dishes on the web and featuring the history of the cheese of the week.
Missed last week’s recipe for easy-peasy cannoli dip? Click here!
Easy and cheesy, this recipe is multifaceted, with multiple names. Some call them mozzarella puffs; others, garlic bombs. Some chefs use garlic powder, while a few opt for fresh chopped or oregano. A couple like them doused in pizza sauce, while I like them coated with butter. Whichever way you choose to make this cheesy-flaky-goodness, it’s an easy dish prepped in 10 minutes to oven.
As it goes with most cheese, the initial creation of mozzarella is date-less. We do know that mozzarella cheese was first made with buffalo’s milk in Italy, but the debate surrounds how and when the animal itself appeared. Some claim the land in Northern Italy had been abandoned after war with the Roman Empire, and the surrounding fields turned into marshlands—a water buffalo haven. When peasants eventually came back to live, the beasts were tamed and domesticated into farm animals. Others claim that the buffalos came to Naples with the Crusaders; others say the Normans were responsible.
The precise origins of water buffalo in Italy aside, the fact that their milk was used initially for mozzarella is not up for discussion. According to Italian folklore, a cheesemaker tragically dropped his curds into hot water. However, upon realizing that the cheese became workable, he continued to stretch the curd until he ended up with a soft, white ball of mozzarella.
Today, most versions are made with cow’s milk, though you can occasionally find buffalo’s milk versions at upscale restaurants or local cheese shops [Editor’s note: TRY IT—your mind will be blown]. It’s also a cheese that can be made fresh and fast in your own kitchen. Unless you have a water buffalo in your backyard, whole milk from any grocery store will do. Just like the farmer, you will stretch and mold the cheese until you get a glowing ball of mozzarella that is perfect for this recipe.
These bites are so easy and so good that your family and friends will ask you to make them again and again. They are the perfect side dish to a big, crunchy salad with Italian dressing. For a heartier version, add fake pepperoni and top with pizza sauce.
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- Handful parsley, chopped
- Additional seasoning, to taste
- 2 7.5-ounce cans refrigerated biscuits
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Place sheet of parchment paper on non-stick cookie sheet.
- Cut mozzarella into 20 small cubes, and break open the biscuits. Place one cube into each biscuit and pinch to seal edges tight. Place each on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until light, golden brown.
- While cooking, mix butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings of your choice (e.g. basil, red pepper flakes).
- After biscuits are done, brush butter mix on bombs immediately. Sprinkle parsley on top of biscuits, and serve hot.
- This recipe can easily be altered by using a circle cake pan for a pull-apart bread.