Mozzarella en Carrozza

by John Eddy on April 13, 2012

This post is a day too late.

I feel kind of guilty about that. See, yesterday, April the 12th, was National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day.

And I have this sweet little sandwich all ready on deck. Sure, it was waiting on photo processing, but, we could have gone a little faster on that. It’s just been a busy week here in Chez Cook Local.

But, let’s talk about this, albeit a day late.

The Mrs wasn’t very happy with this dish, but me, the Mr? I was that type of thrilled you get when you find a really good recipe that you know could be great with just a smidge of tweaking. Or a lot of tweaking in different directions.

Which isn’t to say it is bad. It wasn’t… It needs a little spice, a little salt and pepper, maybe some harissa or sriracha. Or Zane and Zack’s, of course.

Using lard instead of oil too.

And adding bacon, that’d be awesome.

But even plain, this is a good, exceedingly evil sandwich. Gooey, doughy, cheesy. And, for the most part, easy.

Except for needing to find the right white bread. When all the bread you can find is rustic, toothsome loaves, finding a white bread that is spongey and able to be rolled up into a nice little bread marble. Maybe it was an East Coast thing, but, that’s what we did with Wonder Bread. They mush up just so well.

The trick to the recipe is to be careful with the milk step. White bread and milk don’t really mix well, but the little bit of lactic moisture is needed.

Nnormally I recommend using the best ingredients when it comes to the simplest recipes.

A simple, plain tomato sauce, like a marinara, you want to use the best possible ingredients.

But, when you’re doing something big, like a ragu, you can skimp on a couple of the ingredients to not be top shelf because it’s the mix that brings it forward.

This recipe, on the other hand, is simple, but doesn’t need buffalo mozzarella. It doesn’t need a fine loaf of Italian bread.

It just needs love. And time. And hunger.  … And no lactose intolerance.

Mozzarella en Carrozza from Nigella Lawson‘s Nigella Bites

  • White bread, 6 slices, crusts removed
  • Ovoline sized mozzarella ball, 1-2, in 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch matchsticks
  • Whole milk, 1/2 cup
  • AP Flour, 3 tablespoons
  • Egg
  • Salt, Pepper, Frying oil
  1. Pour the milk into a shallow, wide bowl.
  2. Beat the egg, along with a little salt and pepper, into a second shallow, wide bowl.
  3. Spread the flour into a third shallow, wide bowl.
  4. Heat some oil (regular olive oil works well, or lard, or vegetable oil) in a frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Arrange the mozzarella matchsticks onto a slice of bread, making sure to leave a quarter inch around the edge of the bread.
  6. Put a second slice of bread on top and mush the edges together to get a rough crimping. Don’t expect it to hold together too well, but just a little bit is all you need.
  7. Give both sides of the sandwich a very quick dunk into the milk.
  8. Dredge both sides in flour.
  9. Dip in the beaten egg.
  10. Throw in the hot  oil and fry it up until brown.
  11. Flip it and repeat.
  12. Pull it out of the pan and give it a quick draining on a paper towel.
  13. Cut in half and eat.

Notes: Admittedly, mozzarella is kind of a bland cheese. That’s the reason I suggested adding something spicy into the middle, a squirt of sriracha sauce, or a dollop of Zane and Zack‘s honey chipotle (my favorite all-purpose sauce). I guess one could add some basil leaves too, or spinach, maybe a slice of tomato.

Really, it’s such a simple dish that your imagination is your only limit.

Ok, the bread might limit you in the end as to what it is willing to stand up to, but half the fun (until you have to clean the pan) is finding that limit.

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