When I first had these magical little spuntini (snacks), I attributed their magic to being in Naples, so everything tasted great. I couldn’t believe something so simple could be so delicious. It was magic. Nonna Maria had made fresh mozzarella that morning and let it dry all day so she could make these sandwiches in the evening. On a side note, only because we went out trekking the countryside did the fresh cheese make it to that evening, but I digress. So, there we were, tired as only tourists visiting family can be, and she fixed these bite-sized pieces of cheesy heaven to tide us over until dinner.
Oh my goodness!!
The translation literally means “Mozzarella in a Carriage” because of how the cheese melts between the egg battered bread. Sometimes you can add prosciutto or anchovies or capers, but she made them plain for me. She didn’t want to shock my poor American taste buds. The second surprise was they are good cold too. It’s kind of like cold pizza, better the next day. We were going to the opera at Teatro di San Carlo and I might’ve found myself, all dolled up, sitting in the kitchen, eating a cold “cheese carriage” waiting on everyone else to get ready. They were running on Neapolitan time. 😉
Every year we would go back, visit family and play tourists and every year Nonna Maria would make me my own batch of formaggio spuntini (cheese snacks). I loved them so much and since she taught me how to make them, no matter what time of year it is, I find myself humming Pagliacci or Aida and making Mozzarella en Carozza.
Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life.
GOOD FOOD. GOOD FRIENDS. GOOD TIMES.
Mozzarella en Carroza (aka: Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich)Print This
- 1 jumbo egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mozzarella cheese, cut in 1/4-inch thick slices
- 4 slice firm white bread
- Flour for dredging
- 1 cup olive oil
- Marinara sauce or Puttanesca sauce
- Whisk egg, grated cheese, milk, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl
- Cut crusts off bread and cover two of the slices with mozzarella. Top mozzarella with other two pieces (make sandwiches) and press down. Cut diagonally, twice. You are making four small sandwiches from each original sandwich.
- Dredge the triangles in flour, dip in egg mixture. Make sure that the sandwiches are coated on all sides.
- Heat oil over medium high heat and slide in the sandwiches when oil is ready. Cook each sandwich 1-2 minutes per side. They will turn a glorious golden-brown color and looked completely sealed up (can’t see cheese).
- Serve with marina or puttanesca sauce.
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