Monday, May 22, 2017

Mozzarella in Carrozza (inspired post)

I learned about this magnificent cross between a grilled cheese and savory monte cristo from Andrew Zimmern’s fascinating post on Google+. I usually write my own recipes, but I really loved the flavors he put into it, so I used his recipe as a guide with a few minor touches of my own. His recipe is a departure from the original dish as it is enjoyed in Campania: he makes a salty, herbaceous spread to cut the richness of the cheese and rather than batter it in egg and then breadcrumbs he makes a thin egg and flour batter. I have yet to try it the traditional way, although I definitely plan to have a go at it, but I particularly loved the sound of his recipe and I was almost convinced to try making them myself. Almost. Until Paul posted his recipe for homemade tomato soup during Foodies+ cheese month and I knew it would be a match made in heaven.

When you are making these lovely, crunchy, flavorful sandwiches, you’ll want to cover the pan with a lid so that the cheese gets all melty. And luscious. I’ve cut Mr. Zimmern’s recipe down from 6 sandwiches to 4 and I’ve made other changes. I’ll include the link below so you can compare the two.

Mozzarella in Carrozza
1. Make the spread: in a small saucepan, saute shallots in olive oil until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes). Add pepper and anchovies and cook, stirring frequently, until anchovies have dissolved. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes to marry flavors and slightly rehydrate. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, make the batter: whisk together eggs and flour, and then add cold water, a little at a time, until it is the consistency of crepe batter (think thin pancake batter). Set aside.
3. Finish spread by mixing parsley in. Assemble sandwiches: evenly divide the spread between four slices of bread. Top the other four slices with an even layer of mozzarella slices and cover cheese with spread slathered bread, spread side inward. One or two at a time (to avoid pan overcrowding), carefully dip each assembled sandwich in batter. Carefully flip to cover each side.
4. Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed saucepan over low-medium heat. Lay sandwich(es) in in a single layer. Cover pan with a lid and cook for 4 minutes. Flip each one, cover, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.

Serve and enjoy for dinner, lunch or a decadent late night snack.

Andrew Zimmern's Mozzarella in Carrozza:

Notes: if you are using sundried tomatoes preserved in olive oil you can use the olive oil they’re preserved in (as I did).

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