17 luglio 2012

Mozzarella sandwich

la ricetta in italiano qui

A family recipe, my dear Aunt Anna from Salerno taught me so many years ago.
When I was younger I used to spend part of my Summer holidays in Salerno, where my oncle lives and it was always fun and worth  helping my Aunt in the kitchen, watching her busy working hands and trying to learn as much as possible about delicious traditional Neapolitan dishes such as  potato croquettes and pizza (always  cut into slices with scissors!) and of course anything featuring mozzarella.

mozzarella in carrozza

 mozzarella in carrozza

The main ingredient for these sandwiches is actually mozzarella, better fiordilatte, but not freshly made, rather elderly (certainly not rancid :-), in order to be not too watery.
In fact, this recipe was created to restore freshness and preciousness to dry mozzarella which had remained an extra day in the cupboard (oh yes, my Aunt used to store mozzarella in its water in a bowl covered with a plate in the cupboard, never in the fridge).
That's why in Italian we call it Mozzarella in carrozza (literally mozzarella in coach), but why is it named so funny?
I always wonder because the leftover mozzarella gets a new good-looking and tasting appeal as it should turn into a queen, so would deserve a coach :-).
But on the web I found other probable nice comments:
  • In 1800 carriages and coaches were the most used vehicles for transport, including food, such as buffalo milk. Driving on the cobblestone streets the milk shaked and curdled and once at destination it had turned into cheese, hence the name Mozzarella.
  • Mozzarella is served between two slices of bread, originally round like the wheels of carriages, as  Sergio (pure Neapolitan) describes with coloring enthusiasm in his fun post.
  • When you bite the fried sandwich, chewy mozzarella creates imaginative reins, so it looks like driving a carriage where we are the coachmen tasters.
Well, you have to fry them but once in a while you should forget about any diet and indulge in these gorgeous crunchy bites of chewy soft goodness!

Tip from Peppe (my dear friend known for his personal carbonara :-): add half anchovy or spread a little anchovy paste on the mozzarella ... try it!

mozzarella in carrozza

You need:

sliced sandwich loaf
sliced mozzarella
beaten egg
peanut oil

 facendo mozzarella in carrozza

- Cut off the crust from the bread slices and then cut each in half diagonally (or else you can use a round cook cutter to make round sandwiches).
- Stuff a slice of bread with a slice of mozzarella and top with another slice of bread.
- Lightly soak each sandwich on both sides in the milk, then dip in flour, even squeezing gently with your hands, flouring also the sides of the sandwich (a sort of sealing and mozzarella won't come out while frying).
- Put oil in a pan and get it to the right temperature. When ready soak a sandwich at a time in the beaten egg (even sides) and immediately put in hot oil. Fry for a minute or two on each side, until golden brown. Drain and dry on paper towels.
- I usually don't add any salt but if you need drizzle with salt once fried.

 mozzarella in carrozza

This recipe is my entry to this week Susan's YeastSpotting.

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