Mozzarella in carrozza (fried mozzarella sandwich)
Whenever I hear the term "mozzarella in carrozza" I think of card games and sharing a drink with friends. It is not the type of snack you have every day, but a very popular one in the Southern Italian region of Campania. Crustless soft bread sandwiches are filled with mozzarella cheese, drenched in egg, then fried. I love adding chopped anchovies to the centre, for an extra salty taste. In Campania, fresh buffalo mozzarella is often used, but I find this too wet, so I use fior di latte, which is made from cow's milk and is therefore a bit drier.
1 ball fior di latte, cut into 5 mm slices and drained for 10 minutes
8 slices white bread, crusts removed and halved into triangles
8 anchovy fillets, drained and roughly chopped, optional
2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of milk
grapeseed, peanut or sunflower oil, for frying
sea salt flakes
1. Trim the ﬁor di latte slices so they ﬁt neatly on the bread triangles leaving a 5mm border. Make triangle-shaped sandwiches by placing a slice of ﬁor di latte on a slice of bread. Place an anchovy on the cheese (if using), then press another triangle of bread on top.
2. Place some cold water in a shallow bowl and a little ﬂour on a plate. Dip the edges of the bread triangle brieﬂy in the water, then dip in the ﬂour. The ﬂour and water will form a kind of glue to seal the edges of the triangle together. Press the edges together making sure they are well sealed. Repeat with the remaining bread, cheese and anchovies.
3. Divide the beaten egg between two large shallow bowls. Place the triangles in the egg, turning them over to make sure they are well coated. Leave them in the egg mixture for a couple of minutes until absorbed. Check that the edges of the sandwiches are well sealed before removing.
4. Heat 1cm oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sandwiches and shallow-fry in batches for two minutes or until golden on one side, then ﬂip over and cook the other side for two minutes or until the cheese is melted. Drain on kitchen towel, sprinkle over a few sea salt ﬂakes, to taste, and serve warm.
Recipe from Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99.