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About Me

Phoenix, Arizona, United States
The most important thing in my life is my family. I love my dear husband and 4 wonderful children (ages 11 through 18). I am a stay-at-home mom (my dream job!). Some of my favorite things to do include cooking (and eating!), photography, reading, piano, flute, watching my favorite TV shows, swimming, traveling, and most recently...using the rip stick with my kids. I would love to attend culinary school someday & fit my love of photography in with that somehow. My dream vacation is Italy - something I was recently blessed to experience! I'd love to return and see more of that beautiful and DELICIOUS country! My days are usually full of running kids to and from activities - scouts, sports, music and church. Sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe, but I absolutely LOVE my crazy life and the people I am lucky enough to share it with!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA (from Nigella Bites)

This is Italian food before Tuscan rustic chic. The "in carrozza" bit means "in a carriage" and doesn't really explain what this golden-crusted fried mozzarella sandwich is about, just gives an indication that the milky cheese is somehow contained. What you should know if you've never tried it (apart from the fact that it is one of the easiest, most gratifying laptop dinners imaginable) is that it is somewhere between French toast and
grilled cheese. For children (and do bear this in mind for a quick, hot filler when they get back from school) it is desirably like a pizza sandwich, and could be made more so with tomato sauce smeared within the bread's tender interior.

It works, as well, served with a tomato or, for adults, chilli sauce alongside, into which you can dip the corners of the oozing sandwich as you eat. And, unorthodox though this is, I love it with a fierce sprinkling of chopped fresh red chilli in with, and to counter, the gorgeously melting blandness of the mozzarella.

I can't pretend this version is absolutely authentic: it wasn't invented using soft white bread. But white sliced is just fine, and, frankly, what I use. For one thing, if you have children it's what you tend to have in the house. Just be sure to use the lightest hand when dunking it in the milk; more than a moment and the bread will have dissolved into unredeemable mushiness. But don't be cautious about this: it's quick and easy to make, and requires very little in the way of shopping. Speaking of which, it is not worth buying the better, and more expensive, buffalo mozzarella here. The milky dampness of that cheese is not required; it is anyway too liquid and, besides, ordinary cow's-milk mozzarella produces just the right fleshy goo, oozing out of the cut sandwich into stringy, chewy ribbons.

6 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 fist-sized ball mozzarella, cut into approx. 1/4-inch slices, then strips
1/2 cup whole milk
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg
salt and pepper
olive oil (not extra-virgin) for frying

Make sandwiches out of the bread and mozzarella, leaving a little margin around the edges unfilled with cheese, and press the edges together with your fingers to help seal. (One of the advantages of soft white bread is that it is easily smushed together.) Pour the milk into one soup bowl, the flour into another, and beat the egg with salt and pepper in another. Warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Dunk the sandwiches briefly, one by one, in the milk, then dredge in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg. Fry in hot oil on each side till crisp and golden and remove to a paper towel. Cut in half and apply to face.

Serves 2

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