What could be more primordially satisfying than the combination of bread and cheese? Well, frying them together makes them even more satisfying. And if you add a bit of anchovy to the mix well, you're in heaven!
Mozzarella in carrozza, literally "mozzarella cheese in a carriage", is one of the rustic glories of Neapolitan cuisine. It's a kind of savory French toast, or a kind of grilled cheese sandwich, only fried.
- Good quality bread
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Light olive oil for frying
- For the sauce:
- Anchovy fillets
- Olive Oil
- Take slices of bread, remove the crust, then place a slice of mozzarella cheese between two of the bread slices to make a kind of sandwhich.
- Dip each sandwich in milk until nice and moist, then in flour, then beaten eggs seasoned with salt and pepper, making sure it is well impregnated with the egg. (It helps to have each of these lined up in separate dishes or bowls.)
- Fry each sandwich in light olive oil on each side over moderately high heat until golden brown--a few at a time so that you don't crowd the frying pan.
- Drain the sandwiches on paper towels or, even better, on a baking rack while you are frying the rest. When they're all done, sprinkle them with salt and serve immediately.
- Mozzarella in carrozza is traditionally served just like this, perhaps with a lemon wedge. But I like to gild the lily by serving them with a bit of anchovy sauce on the side:
- Empty a tin of anchovies with their oil in a saucepan over moderate heat. Stir until the anchovies have broken up and are sizzling, then add a tablespoon or so of water. The anchovies will almost instantly form a smooth sauce.
- Add finely minced garlic (a garlic press works well here) and parsley. Stir once, then remove from the heat immediately.
- The dish is actually fairly easy to make., if a bit messy. The only trickiy part is making sure the sandwiches don't fall apart in the frying process. First, make sure not to overstuff the sandwiches with cheese. If you do, the slices of bread will not make contact and adhere one to the other. Then you need to make sure that the egg--which will bind the bread slices together--impegnates the bread well. Then allow the sandwich to fry until golden brown before turning it over:this will 'set' the egg. Finally, turn the sandwiches carefully, using a flat spatula and a fork or spoon to support the sandwich as you turn it. Then let it cook thoroughly on the other side.
- There are various ways to dip the sandwiches. The ingredients are always the same: milk, flour and seasoned egg. But some recipes call for mixing the egg and milk together: you dip the sandwich in the egg and milk, then in the flour, then back in the egg and milk. Or, you can actually mix all three ingredients to make a kind of batter--or pastella, as they call it in Italian, in which you dip the sandwiches. See which way suits you best.
- There are some variations. You can add an anchovy filet on top of the mozzarella as part of the 'stuffing' or you can add a slice of ham. In either case, omit the anchovy sauce, which would be redundant in the first case and discordant in the second.
- Mozzarella in carozza is usually thought of as an antipasto, but I find it satisfying enough to serve as a piatto unico, or one dish meal. Follow it with a green salad and some fruit. Accompany with a robust wine, either white or red.
|Amount Per Recipe||%DV|
|Recipe Size 115g|
|Calories from Fat 112||42%|
|Total Fat 12.47g||16%|
|Saturated Fat 5.09g||20%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 21.47g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.0g||3%|