- 1 medium loaf Italian bread, about 5-inches wide, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced crosswise
- 1/2 pound pancetta, sliced crosswise
- 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Essence, plus 1 tablespoon, recipe follows
- 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup very finely grated Parmesan, garnish
- 1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
- Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Place 12 metal or wooden skewers on a work surface.
Make 3 sandwiches by layering the bread, cheese, and pancetta 3 times, with bread on both ends. Cut each sandwich into fourths and run a skewer through the center of each. (If frying in a pot instead of a deep fryer, arrange the stacks toward one end to fry more uniformly.)
Preheat the oil to 350 degrees F. in a heavy, deep pot or deep fryer.
In a shallow dish, combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of the Essence. In a second dish, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining tablespoon of Essence. In a third dish, beat the eggs with 1/4 cup of water. One at a time, dip each skewer in the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumbs, shaking to remove any excess. Fry, turning with tongs, until golden brown and the cheese melts, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Arrange on a platter and while still hot, sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley.
Serve hot.Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.