Mozzarella en Carrozza with Pepper Aioli Dipping Sauce
Mozzarella en Carrozza (translation, Mozzarella in a carriage). Mozzarella en Carrozza.....Moozzzarella ena Carrozzzzzza. I just like saying it over and over again, as if Italian is my primary language. It's not. It's not even my secondary language. I just like accents. Last night while watching Hell's Kitchen, I couldn't help screaming out "FOOK OFF" in an English accent all night. If you have ever watched the show Hell's Kitchen, you know that Gordon Ramsay barely says anything else in the heat of the kitchen, but "FOOK OFF" or "Aaaah FOOK OFF" every time a dish or an execution of a dish is done badly. Anyway, I couldn't wait for my daughter to come home so I could start using my new accent. I grew tired of saying it all by myself. Soooo, as soon as she walked in the house and started asking questions, I said, "FOOK OFF", but before you start thinking I am some type of child abuser....she is 27 and is fully aware that I am not "all there" as they say. Anyway, she did get a kick out of it and enjoyed it so much, she said it a few times and thought there was something about saying the word in an English accent that was enjoyable. I told her it made me giggle.
She did tire of the game pretty quickly, but not me. I kept saying it all night....even to myself.
On to the actual dish. I needed a quick appetizer to make for a friend. I have made this dish before, but deep fried with bread crumbs, it was quite delicious, but I really didn't want to go through the dredging process, so I found a very simple and easy recipe. You should serve this dish hot, so make the sandwiches before guests arrive and then dip them in egg and fry them up quickly. Make sure the pan is smoking hot, you should actually start to smell the oil turning, add a tablespoon of butter, swish around the pan and immediately add the sandwiches.
You can make the Pepper Aioli in advance if you'd like, but it's a pretty straight forward, simple recipe and because of that, I use it at most of my gatherings.
Mozzarella en Carrozza
2 pounds fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into 4 (3 by 4-inch) slices ( I did not use buffalo, just a good mozzarella)
8 slices American-style sandwich bread, crusts removed
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 tablespoon plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 3 tablespoons sweet butter
Divide the 4 pieces of mozzarella on 4 slices of bread. Cover with the 4 remaining slices of bread to form sandwiches. Cut the bread away to leave a 1/4-inch border around the perimeter of the cheese and set aside.
In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and add the milk, thyme leaves and salt and mix until well blended. Dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture one by one to coat, and set aside.
In a 12 to 14-inch non-stick saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and cook until the sizzling subsides. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan and cook until golden brown on the first side. Flip each sandwich and cook on the other side. Remove sandwiches and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining oil, butter and sandwiches. Serve immediately.
Red Pepper Aioli:
One large Red Pepper (roasted in oven until skin starts to burn)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
After roasting pepper, remove seeds, cut into pieces add to blender 1 tsp garlic and 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. Blend until combined, scraping side of the blender. Start blender again and slowly add olive oil until combined. Add kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.