This month's Crazy Cooking Challenge is "Grilled Cheese". Challenge participants were asked to find any recipe from any blog that fit the grilled cheese theme. Enter this yummy recipe for Muzzi in Caruzzi from Paulie Tuorto at the blog Giusto Gusto.
Muzzi in Caruzzi is Paulie's family's nickname for a classic Southern Italian fried grilled cheese sandwich called Mozzarella en Carozza. There are many versions of this amazing sandwich floating around the internet, and you might remember that I shared a similar recipe with you about a year ago), but Paulie's version is less complicated; a little more straight forward.
Okay, grab yourself some fresh mozzarella, a loaf of crusty bread, and a egg - you're in for an incredible treat!
Paulie's Muzzi in Caruzzi (Mozzarella en Carozza)
my adaptation makes 2 sandwiches
- 4 slices good quality crusty bread, sliced thin
- 2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper
- olive oil and butter for frying
- optional garnishes such as basil, tomatoes, pesto, etc
Note from Paulie: When you’re cutting your slices of bread, try to cut them thinner. The thinner the bread is, the crunchier and less-soggy the sandwiches will turn out.
Crack your eggs and beat well while you heat a cast iron pan on med-high heat. When hot, add enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Working in single batches, dip each slice into the egg batter briefly, as making french toast, and add to the oil.
Fry each slice on one side for 1 minute or until golden brown. Flip one slice over, top with a slice of fresh mozzarella, then flip the other slice and top the mozzarella leaving the uncooked side out. Fry as a sandwich on each side for an additional minute or until golden brown.
My notes - I prefer to add a pat of butter to the oil in my cast iron frying pan. I also like to lightly sprinkle the egg-dipped bread and fresh mozzarella with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. I made a version of this sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes and basil inside, but in the end preferred just cheese inside and topped the finished sandwich with a couple leaves of fresh basil. Yummo!!
Here you'll see I dipped my crusty bread in beaten egg and placed them in my pan like an open book or mirror image facing each other - this will ensure the finished sandwich will have both pieces of bread facing the same direction.
When the bread is golden brown on the bottom, flip only one piece and quickly top it with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and top it with the other slice of bread, toasted side down, touching the cheese.
So now we have a slice of yummy mozzarella cheese sandwiched between two toasted sides of bread. Now we toast the outside of the sandwich.
Yikes - almost ready. I can't wait!! Drooling...
Ta-da! Top with fresh basil and savor every delectable bite.