Ham and Sohla El Waylly are the 30-year-old chef-owners of Hail Mary, a New American–style diner in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. One look at their menu says it all (and yes, of course breakfast is served all day). The two chefs have a wealth of popular restaurants on their résumés and are putting their skills and creativity towardsreinterpreting classic concepts at Hail Mary. Ham, who grew up in Doha, Qatar, with his Egyptian father and Bolivian mother, and Sohla, who is a first-generation American born to Bengali parents, use their diverse roots to inspire several of their menu items. This deep-fried burrata is neither here nor there — the important thing is that it’s smothered in fresh tomato sauce and heading to a table near you!
For the burrata
- At least a 2 1/2 ounce ball burrata
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Progresso breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
For the spicy marinara
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes (or more if more burn is desired)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 quart canned, peeled tomatoes, crushed to a pulp by hand (you can use a glove, although it isn't preferred)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Crock pot filled halfway with 375-degree oil
For the marinara
Place the olive oil in a wide pan and heat until it shimmers.
Add the garlic and keep swirling the pan until the edges of the garlic start to brown.
Immediately add the red chili flakes and count to 3.5.
Add the tomatoes all at once (beware of sputtering) and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Let the mixture simmer until thickened, and when you move a spoon across the bottom of the pan, the sauce stays split as if you had the power of Moses.
Add the parsley and butter and stir to incorporate.
Season with salt and pepper.
For the burrata
Whisk the egg and milk together and pour into a bowl.
Place the all-purpose flour in a separate bowl and the breadcrumbs in another separate bowl.
Line the bowls up in the following order from left to right: flour, egg/milk mixture, breadcrumbs.
The key is maintaining one dry hand and one wet hand. Using your dry hand, place the burrata in the flour and dredge thoroughly; shake off excess. Using the same hand, gently place it in the egg mixture. With your (soon-to-be) wet hand, submerge the burrata fully and ensure that the entire ball is moistened. With the same hand shake off the excess and gently place it in the breadcrumbs. With your dry hand, roll the burrata until fully engulfed in breadcrumbs. Place on a tray lined with paper towels. Repeat with as much burrata as needed to satisfy.
When ready to fry, gently lower the burrata in the oil and fry until golden brown. There should be signs of whey seepage. Lay on a tray lined with paper towels and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
For the dish
Place the sauce at the bottom of your receptacle of choice.
Burrata goes on top.