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I’m loving the Great British food fight on Channel 4 at the moment, I was hooked on Heston and Little Chef. The first episode left me feeling really confused and I couldn’t understand why they picked Heston and not Jamie to try and transform the chain. Heston’s original menu was so off the mark for the Little Chef customers and I thought Jamie’s home style cooking would have worked much better but it all came to light by the final episode. I don’t think I’ve ever disliked somebody on the “telly” as much as the managing director “Ian blue sky thinking “, he was the most annoying, obnoxious PR seeking person I have ever seen. I know it’s all edited but Heston came across so well, very calm, personable and non-confrontational – a lot like me really, we’d get on great, maybe we should do coffee:).  It will be interesting to see if he adopts the concept in the other stores, I thought the final design and menu was great and next time I’m over there I’ll have to pop in and try it out.

Jay Rayner’s programme on Thursday about the real cost of cheap food was really good also and although we all know there has to be a reason why certain food is so cheap it’s good to see it in scientific terms – 10% apple in a mini apple pie??? I never eat that kind of confectionary anyway but that’s shocking as was the percentage of pork in sausages and the waste meat they use in pies etc, everytime I see these programmes I thank the lord I met an Italian and the MIL beat cooking into me:)

The one thing I really love about Italian cuisine is it’s simplicity, I love the way they take the most basic ingredients and turn them into into something amazing. Mozzarella in carrozza basically means mozzarella in a carriage and in Irish terms would be “an eggy fried ham sandwich”. It’s very popular in Italy and the first time I had it was here in Ireland when an Italian friend cooked it for us and I loved it. It’s so simple but a great alternative to the regular sandwich, you can put whatever you want in it but the key is obviously mozzarella. I normally do it with just mozzarella and basil but I liked this alternative I spotted in Gino di Campo’s book with the addition of ham and pesto, I’m not a big fan of pesto with anything else other than pasta so I would leave it out next time but I know a lot of you would like it so I’ll give you his recipe. The key to this sandwich is that the texture of the outside should be golden and crisp and the mozzarella in the centre creamy and molten – to die for!!!!

what you need:

3 medium eggs

2 cows milk mozzarella balls

3 tbsp Parmesan cheese

pesto

4 slices of cooked ham

10 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

4 slices of country style bread (I use the SQ one)

what to do:

grate your Parmesan and slice your mozzarella:

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slice your bread and place your mozzarella on top:

 

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add your ham and pesto:

 

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mix your eggs, season and add your Parmesan:

 

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dip your sandwich into your egg mixture:

 

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heat the oil in the frying pan and lower the sandwiches into the hot oil and cook on both sides until golden brown and the mozzarella has melted, remove and drain on some kitchen paper:

 

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serve and enjoy the gasps of pleasure!

 

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buon appetito!

p.s. the princess loved this so it’s a great one for kids. I like this version too.

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