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Football Fare

by Mario Batali

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Looking to elevate your Sunday football fare? There’s simply nothing better than eating hot food over a fire, beer in hand, in anticipation of a sporting event.

 

Mozzarella in Carozza is grilled cheese as an Italian would make it. It is as simple as the Proustian grilled cheese of your childhood, with ingredients that bring it to a higher level.

 

What makes this grilled cheese sing is the choice of mozzarella. So don’t make these unless you can find mozzarella from Campania or a comparable high-quality mozzarella di bufala. If you have trouble finding mozzarella, change the recipe entirely and use another great cheese, like Taleggio or even a fine American Cheddar.

 

As with any event, the key to success at a tailgate is doing as much cooking in advance as possible without sacrificing the deliciousness of the product. Prepare the sandwiches before the game and set aside or refrigerate. At halftime, assemble your egg mixture and bring the sammies to melted perfection.

 

If it’s a high stakes game, I sometimes plan the meal by quarter or half: vegetables and pickles for the pregame; crab cakes for the first half; hot dogs for half time; and spare ribs for the second half.

 

The beauty of this dish (and a prerequisite for Sunday night cooking) is that it works both on the stove and on a charcoal grill in a parking lot. They’re the ultimate elegant snacks that make grilled cheese sammies into performance art.

 

Click here for the recipe for Mozzarella in Carozza!

 

Join me and (the legend) Joe Namath at the upcoming JETS + CHEFS Ultimate Tailgate during the New York City Wine & Food Festival on October 18th. I can’t promise they’ll be serving these sammies but the food will, for sure, be delicious!!

 

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