Paula Lambert makes handcrafted, specialty gourmet cheeses. Founder of the Mozzarella Company in Dallas, Texas, she began her cheese business in 1982 after being unable to buy mozzarella in the United States. Lambert explains the mozzarella-making process, the cheese's uniqueness, its various types and her cheese-making classes. Her latest book is Cheese, Glorious Cheese! and she shares the following recipe.
"Mozzarella in Carrozza" is a classic Italian dish. It gets its name, "Mozzarella in a Carriage," from the cheese being placed between two slices of bread before it's sautéed, as if it were riding in a carriage. Paula thought it would be fun not only to change the cheese to Crescenza--a soft, fresh Italian cheese with a tart, clean flavor, but also to dip the bread into an herbed batter to give it a fresh and modern twist. When she lived in Italy, Crescenza was one of the cheeses Paula loved most. She bought it to take on picnics and to eat with salami, tomatoes and olives. Stracchino and Crescenza are very similar. You can use any combination of fresh herbs you prefer.
Crescenza in Carrozza with an Herb Crust
Note: You could also substitute Port Salut, Monterey Jack or
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ tsp seasoning salt
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 Tablespoons teaspoon minced fresh chives
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 8 ozs Crescenza
- 8 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup mango chutney
Crack the eggs into a low-sided, flat bowl. Beat with a whisk for a minute until well beaten. Add the milk, salt, parsley, chives, oregano, basil, and rosemary and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Slice the Crescenza into 8 slices each about ¼-inch thick. Then cut the slices of cheese in half. Cut the slices of bread in half so that you have 16 rectangular pieces of bread. Lay eight slices of bread on a flat surface and distribute the slices of cheese atop the bread. Cover with the remaining eight slices of bread. Using your fingers, pinch the edges of the bread closed to contain the cheese.
Pour the olive oil and vegetable oil into a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Heat the oil to about 350°F. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, one by one, dip the sandwiches into the egg batter and coat them on both sides as well as the edges and then place the little sandwiches in the oil. Cook on one side and then the other until golden brown.
Serve immediately. Pass the chutney in a separate bowl.
Recipe courtesy of Paula Lambert's Cheese, Glorious Cheese!
Music break: The Caterpillar Crawl by The Strangers