So once again, sorry for a delay in posts. After some awesome food from Lazio last week, I've moved on to cooking some of the traditional meals from Abruzzo. Abruzzo has some great recipes based on some amazing ingredients that are available in the region. One of these is scamorza cheese. Also available in the Campania region to the south, scamorza is a smoked mozzarella cheese that comes in a pear shape. I had some trouble finding this in a regular grocery store, but struck gold when I went to my local Italian grocer. Please, please, please. If you have an Italian grocer near you, USE THEM. The items that they carry are of such an amazing quality, and chances are you will find whatever unusual Italian ingredient you are looking for. And if you're ever in Portland, Maine, visit Micucci's. They have saved me multiple times, and I have never been disappointed in anything that I've bought from them.
So, the reason it took me so long to start writing about the food from Abruzzo is because I had a little trouble with the recipes this time. I planned on making this dish, Grilled Scamorza, a few nights ago. When I tried though, it was an epic failure. I tried to make it on my outdoor grill and the result: cheese and flames EVERYWHERE. What I salvaged of the scamorza came away with a layer of black soot on it. Not so appetizing. So, I made another trip to my Italian grocer and tried again, this time inside on my stove top. Round two went smoothly, producing perfect scamorza that had formed a golden crust on the outside, but was melty and gooey on the inside. This is a great appetizer, because you can pair it with whatever you like. I chose to eat it with some fresh crusty bread and topped with some sun-dried tomatoes. The tomatoes added the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish, but roasted red peppers would probably be a good choice as well. Adding some crispy prosciutto to the top wouldn't be a bad move either. As long as you serve it piping hot, you really can't miss with this as an appetizer.
Adapted from Mario Batali via Fine Living
1 8-12 ounce piece of scamorza
1/2 loaf crusty bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat.
- Cut the scamorza into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Spray the pan with cooking spray or use the tiniest bit of oil in the pan. Lay the scamorza flat in the pan. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes until it has developed a golden crust. Flip the cheese and cook another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
- Remove the cheese from the pan and top with the sun-dried tomatoes. Serve immediately with the slices of bread.
Ryan's rating of Grilled Scamorza - 4.5.