Italian

French Toast Meets Grilled Cheese & Monday is Looking Up

October  3, 2016

Here's the week as I see it:

Monday: Is the weekend really over?
Tuesday: Did the weekend ever exist?
Wednesday: Will the weekend ever come again?
Thursday: One day to the weekend if Friday counts.
Friday: Practically the weekend!
Saturday: [No conscious thoughts, asleep the whole time, crossing 0 things off my to-do list.]
Sunday: The weekend is almost over!!! Let the panic set in.

So at the end of the day on Monday, after I've spent the past twelve hours catching up on all the things I really should have done last week (sorry, bosses), I need to be kind to myself. To approach the week to come with some soft padding, to go to sleep early with a stomach full of cheese and fried bread.

Shop the Story

Like this sandwich from mrslarkin, exactly the meal I want to cradle me as the work week approaches begins.

Mozzarella in carrozza is a cross between a grilled cheese and French toast: You'll assemble mozzarella cheese sandwiches, dip them in a mix of egg and cream (though you can use milk if you insist), then gently fry them in oil and butter until the outsides are golden-brown and the cheese has melted. (This is a great cheese pull opportunity.)

The accompanying jam is chopped in the food processor and ready in 20 minutes. Since it uses sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers, it's perfectly appropriate even when tomatoes and red peppers are out of season. Make extra and spread it on sandwiches (or dollop it onto frittatas!) throughout the week.

Photo by James Ransom

How to change it up:

  • Use a mix of different kinds of cheeses: Try spreading the inside of the bread slices with goat cheese or—and this is crazy—press some finely grated Parmesan or pecorino on the outside of the sandwich after you've dipped it and before you've fried it.
  • I bet you could make this in a panini press. I bet you could waffle it. Please try!
  • Flavor the egg-and-cream mixture with dried herbs, freshly-ground black pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika...
  • Instead of serving the jam on the side, spread it over the bread before you fry it.
  • Make your jam more spicy than sweet! Add red pepper flakes or a crumbled dried ancho.
  • Or skip the jam and use pesto instead.
  • Top the sandwiches with greens and eat them with a fork and knife.
  • Or simply make a green salad with what's loitering in your refrigerator and call it a balanced meal.​

What's the dinner you make when you need something to cushion the blow of the week ahead? Tell us! We hope it involves cheese.

Order now

A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

Order now

4 Comments

amysarah October 3, 2016
My Mozzarella in Carozza definitely evolved from the classic, crossed with an insatiable longing for French toast...later for Spaghetti Carbonara: https://food52.com/recipes/36351-mozzarella-in-carozza-di-carbonara (Tacky to link yourself, like quoting yourself? Sshh, don't tell my editor.)
 
PHIL October 3, 2016
Not tacky, thanks for the link. like the pancetta add in
 
PHIL October 3, 2016
My kids used to call this Italian grilled cheese. It doesn't hurt to slide a piece of Prosciutto inside. I like to serve it with an anchovy sauce like Spedini alla Romano. As for the dinner to help ease me into the week, Fresh (not frozen) Ravioli from Pastosa's with a brown butter and sage...
 
suzybel63 October 3, 2016
I used to make a version of this for my son when he was young, basically all he would eat. I made the French toast the normal way, cooked on both sides and then stuffed it with cheddar slices (the real stuff) and stuck it back in the pan to melt the cheese. Nothing fancy, but he did eat it with ketchup :-)