Note: You do not have to have a deep-fat-fryer to enjoy this dish. If you do not have a deep-fat fryer, place about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy sauté pan over high heat. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add mozzarella-and-bread pieces, without crowding, and fry for about 1 minute per side or until golden brown. Continue as above.
MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA
6 slices Italian bread, about ½ inch to ¾ inch thick
6 bread slices fresh mozzarella, cut ¼ inch thick
1 cup all-purpose flour
Seasoned Egg Batter (see below)
2 cups Bread Crumbs
Approximately 3 cups Marinara Sauce*
Approximately 6 cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Trim crusts from bread. Put mozzarella slice on top of bread and trim to fit.
Dredge both sides of each piece of bread and cheese in flour. Shake off excess. Set aside.
Put Seasoned Egg Batter in shallow bowl and Bread Crumbs into a second shallow bowl. Dip each piece of bread and cheese into the Seasoned Egg Batter, then into Bread Crumbs, pressing lightly to coat well. Set aside, in a single layer, on a plate until ready to fry.
Warm Marinara Sauce in a small, nonreactive saucepan on very low heat.
Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350° F. (the usual deep-fry temperature, 365° F. , is too hot for the delicate brown this requires). Fry mozzarella-and-bread pieces two at a time for approximately 1 minute or until golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
Spoon ½ cup of warm Marinara Sauce onto each of 6 warm plates. Put one Mozzarella in Carrozza in the center. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve
SERVES 6 AS AN APPETIZER COURSE
Rao’s secret! Seasoned Egg Batter
4 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 teaspoons minced Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper vigorously until well blended.
Use immediately as a batter for breaded meat or fish.
Variations on Mozzarella in Carrozza:
Whisk together 4 large eggs. Dip mozzarella-and-bread pieces into flour, then into the beaten eggs. Again, dip into flour. Press into grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 cup totally). Fry as above.
Place a slice of prosciutto between the bread and cheese. Do not use prosciutto with cheese-coated variation above as the combination will be salty.
To view the Rao’s website, including some recipes, double click on http://www.raos.com/
Above adapted from www.raos.com with permission.
If you do not have a homemade marinara of your own, you can try Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, available in some supermarkets in the northeast, as well as from www.raos.com
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