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
- For the jam:
sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil and herbs, drained slightly
roasted red peppers, packed in water, drained slightly
- For the sandwiches:
slices bread (I like Wave Hill’s small country boule)
slices fresh mozzarella, about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick
cream or milk
- For the jam:
- In a mini-chopper, place the tomatoes and process. Don’t purée them -- small chunks are good. Remove to a small sauce pot.
- Place the red pepper in the mini-chopper and repeat. Add them to the tomatoes.
- 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.
- Pour into a sterilized 1-pint jar. Let cool, then store in refrigerator.
- For the sandwiches:
- Place the sliced mozzarella on 2 slices of bread, then top with the two remaining slices.
- In a shallow soup bowl or small casserole, beat the egg, cream, and salt with a fork.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place a folded paper towel on a dish and briefly place sandwiches on it to absorb some of the grease.
- The sandwiches can be kept warm in a low oven for about half an hour before serving.
- 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.
- Buon appetito!