11.07.2012

Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sandwiches

That's right....the best cheese sandwich ever....

When I first saw this recipe, my mind exploded with its sheer simplicity and genius. For anyone who doesn't know, I am an AVID *slightly obsessed is more accurate* fan of cheese. I used to find myself making quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches two or three times a week because 1) its easy and 2) they are delicious.

So a natural next step for me was to make grilled cheese and then FRY it...I mean really...it was the next step. I have seen this recipe crop up in italian cookbooks and all under different names. In Lidia's Favorite Recipes it came with a sauce and thus we had a winner. I did omit the anchovies as I didn't care for them however you can add them if you like.

Sandwich Ingredients:

1 loaf of Italian Pane bread slices cut 1/2 inch thick
12 oz Fresh Mozzarella sliced 1/4 inch thick (Must be Fresh!)
Flour
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
Two large eggs
2 tablespoons fat free half n' half (or skim milk)

Sauce Ingredients:

2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves of garlic chopped
3 tbls drained tiny capers
2 tbls unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbls lemon juice

Directions:
* Heat the oil for frying first: Use a Large fry pan and fill it with a half inch deep of oil. Heat on medium to medium high. By the time you are ready to fry the sandwiches it should be hot*

1. Make the sauce. Heat olive oil in a 8" fry pan over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and cook until sizzling and fragrant but not browned. This should take less than a min.
3. Add the capers and butter and wait until the butter is all melted then add the white wine and lemon juice.
4. Bring the sauce to an energetic simmer (adjust heat if necessary) and let it cook for 6-7 minutes to reduce by half. Turn the heat way down to keep warm.
5. Pour flour into a shallow bowl and mix the milk and eggs in another shallow bowl and place them side by side.
6. Take 8 slices of bread and line them up. Place enough mozzarella on 4 of the slices taking care to NOT go over the edge. Place the other 4 to make the sandwiches.
7. Seal each side with toothpick taking care to make them visible so you can pull them out before eating.
A Nice Golden Brown
8. Test the oil with the crust of some extra bread. It should brown in 1 minute. If it doesn't wait a little bit longer.
9. Coat the sandwiches on all sides in the flour** and then the egg mixture
10. Once the oil is ready carefully place to Sandwiches in the oil and let them cook for about 1 min and 30 secs. They should be a golden brown. Flip them with tongs and cook them for another 1.30. Place the sandwiches on a plate with paper towels so they drain. Repeat.
11. Bring the sauce back to a simmer. Remove toothpicks from sandwiches, cut up and enjoy!

Cooks Notes:
*One slice and a half worked for me but it depends on how large your bread is.
** You can prepare the sandwiches up to the flour point and put them in the fridge. Then when you have company you can do the last bit with the egg mixture and frying for guests.

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