There are a number of struggles to be stoically borne when practising the noble art of meal preparation; paramount amongst them, to my mind, is the curious fact that fried foods and oven-baked vegetables are somehow more delicious during the hottest months of the year, when the very idea of instigating any form of accretion of heat slaps common sense in the face with a gourmet’s gauntlet. Why I thought of making mozzarella in carrozza for lunch when the temperature was close to 40°C (somewhere in the 100s in Fahrenheit) is quite beyond me for, trust me, anyone who knows me closely can vouch for my being the opposite of masochistic. Why then? why, why why? I’ve no idea other than the fact that I must obviously be an FFF – fried food fanatic.
There are a few versions to frying chunks of mozzarella encased within two slices of bread that are dunked in beaten eggs and milk (think French Toast). The following version made use of an anchovy fillet too.
Here is the mozzarella directly after being sliced … notice how much liquid spews forth. Place the mozzarella in a colander for a few minutes so that most of the liquid has a chance to drain away.Most people would have used ordinary ‘plastic’ bread (the kind that comes already sliced, supermarket bread in other words) but I prefer ordinary ‘proper’ bread, preferably one day old.
Add a little milk to the eggs and beat them. I had planned on using three eggs but when I started to pour the milk, the telephone rang and in an attempt to finish what I was doing and get to the phone at the same time, ooops, by mistake, I poured too much in (as in the above photo). I remedied it by adding another two eggs to get the right consistency. It should be ‘gooey’ and not too runny … say 3 eggs and about 100ml milk. Beat well and sprinkle salt and pepper. Leave it to set for about 20 minutes.
If there is any egg wash left over, by all means pour it over the sandwiches. They will absorb as much as they want without going too soggy. The flour helps in this regard.
Set it aside to drain …. I want to point out that, when frying, the very first object to be fried will always take ages (or so it seems to the person doing the frying), and never turns out right. This is normal. The same thing happens when cooking crepes. Do not fret. The frying process improves with the next batch … quicker to fry, with a better, crispier result.
Whilst I was slaving away in sauna-like conditions in the kitchen, my sensible daughter decided to make a refreshing fresh tomato and mozzarella salad, dressed very plainly with olive oil, salt and basil leaves. This is called a ‘caprese’ salad …
The ‘naughty’ mozzarella in carrozza in front and the ‘sensible’ caprese salad behind.
Yum. Most definitey yum. And the very cold beer we washed it down with was, to boot, unbeatably balmy. I just love Summer.