Monday, February 16, 2009

Cheese in carriage

Sometimes. you just cannot get what you want by any means of looking at a menu and hoping it turns up. I cannot tell you how long that I - a New Yorker raised in a time not long ago when all manner of Italian restaurant proliferated - missed one simple thing about all the shuttered Milanese places that evaporated a decade ago when we healthed-up and stopped all that batter-frying-and saucing: I cannot tell you, but it has been a long, long time. Long before this pregnancy, so it does not owe to some Rao's craving that can never be satisfied.

Mozzarella en carroza: (Feign Brooklyn accent) You know this guy? Eh?

It means "cheese in a carriage" in semi-literal translation. And in digging around for this post, I found a dozen convoluted recipes involving tucking meat and basil and all manner of other beside-the-point inclusions (read as: ill-advised interlopers). I just don't need horse feathers and gobbledygook in my cheese sandwich. Keep it. At this late stage in the game, one week from the due date, I have no patience for absurdities or misdirected refrigerator creativity.

Bread. Stuffed with cheese. Breaded. Fried. Served with sauce. You want to make something of it?

Mozzarella en Carozza
Serves 4

8 - 3" slices of Italian bread
8 - 1/4" slices fresh mozzarella
1 egg
1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Kosher salt

Accompaniment: Marinara or Lemon Caper Butter Sauce

Slice gently into the center of each slice of bread to create a wide pocket as follows:

Stuff one piece of fresh mozzarella into the pocket of each of the 8 slices of bread. Fold it over and tuck it all the way in if you need to or trim a little off to be sure cheese is, for the most part, completely encased. Repeat with all remaining slices:

In a small bowl, combine the egg and milk. Place the bread crumbs in another small bowl. Dip each stuffed slice of bread into the egg mixture first turning once, then into the bread crumbs turning to coat completely:

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet large enough to hold four slices at a time. Fry each slice four minutes on each side or until they have a golden crust on each side and the cheese is melted:

Remove bread to a towel-lined plate and season with salt immediately.

Serve over small spoonfuls of marinara or lemon sauce:


Martha said...

This looks really good -- I love any kind of cheese sandwich.

Shelly Beson said...

I am so making that!!!


Linda Pearl said...

Wonderful post! The pictures are beautiful - I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you for your contribution!

pve design said...

Oh, this looks wonderful!