Christmas

Mozzarella in Carrozza with Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Jam

by:
June 18, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

My mom made mozzarella in carrozza for us as a snack all the time. Hers still tastes better, but here’s my version anyway. I don’t like super egg-y custards, so I use one egg and some cream. Inspired by Jennifer Perillo’s fantastic tomato jam, I created a simplified, quick-cook tomato-red pepper jam. I like dipping pieces of the sandwich into the tomato jam -- reminds me of slathering Monte Cristos with strawberry preserves. FYI: “in carrozza” means “in a carriage” in Italian, in case you were wondering. —mrslarkin

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Mrslarkin makes some of the best scones in the tri-state area. And maybe the world.
WHAT: A soft and buttery mozzarella sandwich and a savory-sweet jam to be its friend.
HOW: Make a chunky jam by cooking chopped sun-dried tomatoes and roasted red peppers with vinegar, sugar, and strawberry jam. Next, tuck fresh mozzarella between two pieces of bread, soak the bread in an egg-and-cream mixture, then pan-fry the sandwiches until golden. Serve hot with a generous dollop of jam.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The combination of custardy, French toast-style bread and fresh mozzarella makes for a good sandwich. But slather it with a tangy tomato-pepper jam, and you have a great sandwich. We suggest making two batches of the jam and keeping it in the fridge, so that it can be the base of many more sandwich creations. —The Editors

  • Makes about 2 cups jam and 2 sandwiches, or cut several small squares or triangles for appetizers
Ingredients
  • For the jam:
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and herbs, drained slightly
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, packed in water, drained slightly
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1 dash salt
  • For the sandwiches:
  • 4 slices bread (I like Wave Hill’s small country boule)
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella, about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Fresh basil
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the jam:
  2. In a mini-chopper, place the tomatoes and process. Don’t purée them -- small chunks are good. Remove to a small sauce pot.
  3. Place the red pepper in the mini-chopper and repeat. Add them to the tomatoes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer the mixture and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
  5. Pour into a sterilized 1-pint jar. Let cool, then store in refrigerator.
  1. For the sandwiches:
  2. Place the sliced mozzarella on 2 slices of bread, then top with the two remaining slices.
  3. In a shallow soup bowl or small casserole, beat the egg, cream, and salt with a fork.
  4. Lay the sandwiches in the custard and press gently with a spatula. Carefully turn sandwiches, and repeat until most of the liquid is absorbed. If using less-dense bread, like white sandwich bread, reduce the soaking time.
  5. In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the oil and butter over medium-low heat. Add the sandwiches and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the bottom sides are nicely golden. Carefully turn the sandwiches with a spatula and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until bottoms are nicely golden and the cheese is melty. Add a bit more butter if needed.
  6. Place a folded paper towel on a dish and briefly place sandwiches on it to absorb some of the grease.
  7. The sandwiches can be kept warm in a low oven for about half an hour before serving.
  8. Serve the sandwiches hot. Place them on a warm serving plate and cut in half, or cut them into smaller pieces if serving as hors d’oeuvres. Place a couple spoonfuls of the jam on the side of the sandwich, or place the jam in a bowl for guests to serve themselves. Alternately, top each appetizer portion with a dollop of the jam. Sprinkle with basil, any way you like -- torn, ribbons, or whole.
  9. Buon appetito!

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