Pamela Yung’s Mozzarella in Carrozza
This southern Italian snack is a great way to use up leftovers.
"A snack food for the masses in much of southern Italy, mozzarella in carrozza is traditionally made with leftovers – dried slices of bread; yesterday’s mozzarella; the ever-present bowl of breadcrumbs that makes a cameo in nearly every dish in cucina povera, the food of Italy that speaks so dearly to me in its no-waste economy and elevation of simple ingredients," says chef Pamela Yung.
For this recipe, Yung uses the milk bread they make at Flor, the restaurant in London's Borough Market, where she leads the kitchen, as well as local 'nduja, and good-quality anchovies. She also recommends using Sicilian dried oregano.
Slice your mozzarella into 1cm/1⁄2in planks and carefully dab them between sturdy paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Arrange 2 slices of the bread face up and, using a butter knife, spread a thin layer of ’nduja onto each slice. Follow with a generous drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of oregano on each. Trim your mozzarella to fit within 3⁄4cm/1⁄4in of the bread’s perimeter and lay it flat onto the slices. Season with sea salt.
Carefully layer the second pieces of bread on top of each slice. Use a pastry brush dipped in milk to moisten the perimeter of the top slice of bread – this will help with adhesion. Using your palm, carefully and evenly apply pressure to try to create a ‘seal’ around the mozzarella. With a serrated knife, trim the crusts from the sandwich.
Apply pressure once more to ensure a closed edge. Prepare to bread the sandwiches. In three separate bowls, place the flour (seasoned with salt and pepper); the eggs, lightly whisked with the splash of milk; and the breadcrumbs. Take a sandwich and coat it completely (both sides and four edges) with plain flour. Next, moisten entirely with the egg mixture – no dry spots should remain. Finally, coat it well in the breadcrumbs.
Fill a large, deep pot with a few inches of oil and heat to 180°C/350°C. Drop the sandwich into the oil and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side, until golden. Repeat the breading and frying process with the other sandwich, then plate up and drape over the anchovies. These sandwiches are best savoured hot, when the cheese pulls in the prized al telefono fashion.
Extract taken from 'The Female Chef' by Clare Finney and Liz Seabrook, published by Hoxton Mini Press.