sometimes people come home from a hateful night at a hateful job and have nothing left inside. this emptiness can only really be alleviated with mozzarella. moreover, mozzarella sandwiched between two slices of the worst, most unutterably bad white bread available in your unutterably bad local supermarket.* nigella taught me this one and though i dont really endorse her late night eating-in-bed philosophy, she certainly knows how to do that sort of food well (this also came from her nigella bites series, which came before nigella feasts, the series in which she went from a little whack to certifiably stupid and therefore is an acceptable adaptation..not that i watch any of these stories regularly. certainly not repeatedly). apparently this is what the chambermaids in florence eat when theyre feeling alienated. and in its strange, unappealing way – its really a very good thing.
4 slices of whitebread, crusts removed (no nutritional value here thank you very much)
1 ball of mozzarella (or several little ones)
1 egg lightly beaten
salt and pepper
2tbsp olive oil
make sandwiches out of the bread and mozzarella. leave a bit of room around the edge and press the edges together (as lady n quite rightly points out, one of the benefits of plastic bread is its crappiness makes it easy to squash together).
then pour milk into one bowl and the flour into another.
put the egg into a third bowl, and beat with some salt and pepper.
heat a little oil in a fry pan. first put the sandwiches into the milk, then into the flour, and finally into the beaten egg.
stodgy? yes. claggy? yes. cloying? my word. my cup of tea? not so much. why am i posting it? because the idea of it moves me, its origins, my own nostalgia, my imaginings of cities and beauty elsewhere, but mainly because its a toastie – and my most significant critic liked it immensely. so what else matters?
nb. bread pictured has a bit of sourdough to its white and is entirely inappropriate. it was all i had on hand. but if you are going to do things, do them properly and so i recommend white pap…the crappiest pap you can find.
* just a disclaimer for anyone who has trouble with literal and non-literal use of language: mozzarella, wonderful though it is, acts here as a placebo. ultimately, that palpable unhappiness which settles somewhere between your heart and your wasted mind never leaves you.
postscript: to see a charming italian rendition of this bastardisation i direct you here: http://www.italianfoodnet.com/ita/video/mozzarella-in-carrozza. deep, or even shallow frying of bread, glued together with cheese, is not necessarily something i encourage. but he does have a way with words, ones i dont understand but like to hear never the less.