Decisions, decisions!  Who to cheer for… or in other words, who do I want to make mad?  My friends in the Bay Area or my buds from Baltimore?  Maybe I should just do a coin toss?  One decision I don’t have to make is what I’m serving as an appetizer for friends and family for our Super Sunday supper.  I’ve come up with an easy, tasty idea that both 49er and Raven fans will enjoy…promise!

As you probably know, this year New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl.  What you might not know is that the Big Easy has a very special place in my heart.  Not only is it a great town for wonderful food and jazz, it’s also where we spent our honeymoon.  We haven’t been back in awhile, but look forward to our return…hopefully, very soon.

I got the idea for this recipe from looking at a lovely, warm grilled cheese sandwich made with fresh buffalo mozzarella.  It was a bit more complicated than the grilled cheese that I make…soak the bread, dip into flour and egg…but wow, did it look good!  I wanted to make something like that, but way easier.  I wondered what would happen if I added basil. One of our family’s favorite recipes is a salad of fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato.  Maybe I could add a dipping sauce for that spark of tomato.   Yep, that would be great!

In the past I’ve “cheated” and made ravioli out of “store bought” wonton wrappers…why not use them to cuddle a smidge of mozzarella and a sprinkle of basil?  Then plop them into some sizzling olive oil, dust with a tang of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or perhap Romano, if you’re so inclined.  Before the first play of the game, these will be served and gone before the first touchdown.

So enjoy today, whoever wins or losses, your guests will be winners.

Maybe next year Bengals…maybe next year Bears…you gotta keep on believing, right?

Super Simple Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Bites Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 30

Simple, fresh and fast, make it the first play of the game.


  • 1 package of Ovoline fresh mozzarella (about 15, cut in half to make 30)
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 30 sheets fresh wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup fresh extra virgin olive oil or canola oil (if your olive oil has sat in the pantry for months, use canola oil instead.)
  • 1 cup of your favorite warm tomato sauce (yep, canned is acceptable here) or make your own fav.


  1. Drain the mozzarella on a a paper towel making sure that they are not moist or dripping with any liquid.

  2. Whisk the egg and water together with a fork.
  3. Wash and dry the basil leaves and then stack 5 together...roll them together into a little parcel, cut them length wise into little strips as shown...this is called chiffonade...very fancy term that means "cut into little strips".
  4. On top of one a wontons, place an Ovoline, cut in half.
  5. Sprinkle a bit of the basil on top.
  6. Brush the outside of the wonton with the egg wash.
  7. Press ends together and tuck the ends underneath. Let rest for about a minute. This is to seal the little parcels.
  8. Heat the olive oil in a LARGE pan till it reaches 350 degrees. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT OVERHEAT THE OIL and do not use more than the recommended amount of oil, you are NOT deep frying.
  9. Place the little parcels in the pan and cook (do not crowd, about 8 or 10 in the pan are just right. Cook till golden brown on each side, about a minute.
  10. Drain on paper towels.
  11. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  12. Serve immediately with your favorite warm tomato sauce.
  13. Enjoy!