Whenever I think of the name of this dish, Mozzarella en Carozza (Mozzarella in a Carriage), I also think of Devils on Horseback. Must be the transportation imagery! So I picture a wild midnight ride, the cheese being pulled along in a carriage by four horses, accompanied by the devils riding their own steeds. And maybe Ichabod Crane rides along too, for good measure? Okay, so I have an active imagination!
Whatever it reminds you of, though, I love this dish, with the traditional accompaniment of a sauce of garlic, capers, and anchovy. A lot of restaurants mess with this formula, and I never like the results as much as this classic version. I used Lidia Bastianich’s recipe, which she calls Spiedini alla Romana. I’ve heard both names, but like the imagery of the carriage.
You need firm white bread for this, and the Canal House Cooking ladies sagely advise Pepperidge Farm white bread, which I bought (the “original” loaf) especially for it, making bread crumbs with the rest eventually. The CHC version is coated in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs before frying, but I stuck with Lidia’s version which used just the flour and egg. You have to be brave and use plenty of oil. I did use fresh mozzarella, and slipped an anchovy fillet inside each sandwich, before firmly pressing it together and trimming off the crusts. Then the coatings, and into the hot oil. The sauce was waiting on the side, and I put some of that around the sandwiches (I had two little ones as a main course), rather than over them, so they would stay crispy longer. Heaven on earth.