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  • 1 medium loaf Italian bread, abt 5" wide cut 1/2"-thk slices
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 pound pancetta sliced crosswise
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Essence divided (see Bayou Blast recipe)
  • 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


Servings 6


Step 1

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 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.

This recipe yields 6 to 12 servings.

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