"Does This Work!?"—hosted by senior culinary producer Jeanette Donnarumma—delves into the great big world of trendy, viral recipes that may or may not work. Don't miss a minute of her delicious hits and messy misses by subscribing here.
Inspo for this episode of “Does This Work!?” came directly from the ‘saved’ folder on my Instagram, but didn’t have to dig too deep. I can’t tell you how many people have sent me recipes for mozzarella stick onion rings.
Maybe it’s my love for all things stuffed with mozzarella, maybe my love for a deliciously crispy fried onion, or I suspect, many of my friends were also wondering if it really works… so we put these supposed cheesy, crispy, onion filled treats to the test.
The journey begins with 3 slices of cheese. No really, guys, what recipe calls for only 3 slices of cheese?! Even the best cheeseburger recipes (like Rachael's Pizzaiola Burgers) call for AT LEAST 4 slices of cheese. How the heck were these going to fill 8 Instagram-worthy-cheese-pull rings!?
After a lot of onion ring math and sadly MANY onion slices that joined the onion ring graveyard, I worked it out. And yes, I needed a lot more cheese, as I suspected… This recipe had already failed me...
I tried my best to pick up the onion slices and keep moving forward anyway. The cheese-stuffed onion rings found their way to the freezer to chill...and frankly at this point, we all needed a little space from each other.
After an hour, all parties involved had relaxed a bit, and now it was time for one of my most favorite kitchen techniques, breading! The freezing process proved to be a vital step to this recipe and getting my wet-hand-dry-hands messy is never too hard at all (check out the video above for a lesson in breading!).
The oil was ready to go and I dropped them in. Surprisingly, the onion rings were frying up perfectly. I was excited to finally TASTE them and was getting extra-excited for (what I thought would be) the epic cheese pull moment.
Enter: My colleague and real life best friend, Matthew Allen (he’s the social media producer at the show!). He’s also my favorite person to eat French fries with, so I knew he was the right man for the task of raining down judgement on these. The recipe calls to serve with warm marinara, which is always a win, but because we are us, I scored us a bottle of ranch for dipping too. “I’m ready”, said my friend.
The moment of truth came crashing down with the proclamation that there wasn’t any cheese to be tasted by anyone (audible gasps filled the room). Shocked, appalled and let down, we continued munching...
Where did the cheese go!? Are the onions cooked inside!? Are Matthew and I still friends!? Check out the video above and find out!
And if watching it gets you in the mood for a delicious basket of onion rings, try Action Bronson's Purple Onion Rings with Special Sauce (I promise they’ll actually work :))