Muzzi in Caruzzi is my family’s ass-backward dialect for a classic Southern Italian recipe called Mozarella in Carozza. As the name implies, the Mozzarella is sandwiched in a “carriage” of battered bread and fried to golden perfection. To call it an Italian Grilled Cheese is like calling Coldplay a rock band. It may seem so from the outside, but deep down you know it’s not true.
Every family has their own interpretation of Muzzi in Caruzzi, but the Tuorto’s like to keep it quick and simple. You could say we’re purists, but really we just want to start eating. So grab a loaf of bread, some Mozz, an egg and let’s get into it:
Mozzarella in Carozza
8 Slices Crusty Bready (Semolina or Sesame are best)
1 Fresh Mozzarella (di Bufala if you’re feeling fancy, but fresh is necessary)
Salt, Olive Oil
When you’re cutting your bread, try to cut them small rather than large in diameter. The smaller the slices, the crunchier and less-soggy they’ll turn out.
Crack your eggs and beat well while you heat a non-stick 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 tho 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, add enough Mozzarella to cover lightly. 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.
Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt immediately after frying and allow to cool for 30 seconds before eating. Fry as you eat because these are really best when they’re fresh out of the oil.
In short, it’s a crazy combo of french toast and grilled cheese, but after one bite you’ll know it’s worlds apart from both. It’s savory and salty, oozing with the sweet milkiness of fresh Mozzarella and extra crunchy thanks to the light egg wash. Tho I prefer them plain, it’s also a great chance to add some extra flavors like anchovies, basil, sage, sun-dried tomato or prosciutto.
Like last week’s recipe, childhood flashbacks start to creep in every time I make Muzzi in Caruzzi, sitting down for lunch with an ice-cold Orangina and munching ferociously with oily fingers on plate after plate of this Tuorto favorite. Not surprisingly, that’s exactly how I looked recreating the recipe minus the dino-themed pajamas (only because I don’t own any now).
SPARK NOTES: 1. DIP BREAD IN EGG 2. FRY ON ONE SIDE 3. ADD MOZZ 4. STACK AND FRY ON OTHER SIDE 4. MANGIA