Spiedini alla Romano

Carmine's Restaurant Recipe

8 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, divided use
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon tiny nonpareil capers, drained
5 large basil leaves, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small, round loaf day old or slightly stale rustic bread
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 pound fresh mozzarella

In a small saute pan, heat 1 teaspoon of the butter over medium heat. When it sizzles, add shallots and cook about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Add the anchovies and rub into the shallots with the back of a fork. Stir about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook about 30 seconds, until heated through.  Add the chicken stock, increase heat to medium-high, bring sauce to a boil, and cook rapidly 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking the sauce after each addition until it thickens and all the butter is incorporated.  Stir in capers, basil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Cut a slice about 1 inch thick off each end of the loaf to square it. Cut the loaf into five 1/2 inch thick slices. Trim any crust from the bread and then cut each slice so that it measures 4 x 2 1/2 inches. Lightly toast bread slices in a toaster. While still warm, rub both sides with garlic halves. Set aside.

Cut the mozzarella into four 1/2 inch thick slices to fit on top of the bread. Stack the bread and cheese, beginning and ending with the bread, so that you end up with a tall sandwich with five slices of bread and four slices of cheese. Spear sandwich with an 8-inch wooden skewer. Push the skewer all the way through so it will hold the spiedini in place as it cooks.

Transfer spiedini to a shallow pan and bake about 15 minutes, turning at least twice, until the bread is crispy and the cheese melts evenly.  Transfer to a serving platter and remove skewer and discard. Pour sauce over before slicing and serving. Makes 6 servings.

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