Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Since I started this blog I have learned that just about every day is some sort of National Food Holiday. It's completely random and something I chose not to play along just because I like to cook what I like to cook and it just seemed silly. Then I remembered that April is National Grilled Cheese Month something I will for sure partake in due my insane love of all things cheese. I then decided to research these food holidays a bit further to see if there were any other days I mightbe willing (or in fact really want) to celebrate. Then I came upon March 3, not only is it Mulled Wine Day (which sounds fun but I think much better suited to December) but it is also Cold Cut Day! Check out this article on The Nibble for a listing of some of the most random food holidays you could ever imagine. Like Cheese Doodle Day or my favorite Turkey Neck Soup Day, and these are just a for March!
Anyway, I decided to celebrate Cold Cut Day because the boy loves all things deli meat and sandwiches AND I have been wanting to make a Muffaletta sandwich for awhile. I thought about it last week for Mardi Gras, but since I wanted to make the olive salad and it takes a week to get right, I just didn't have enough time. I had the time for National Cold Cut Day and figured what better a sandwich to make for this day than a massive one chock full of meat and cheese? The one inauthentic thing in my sandwich was the bread. I contemplated making my own muffaletta bread (like Fabio did on Top Chef) but I have not had much luck with homemade bread and I need some better equipment and more practice before attempting another bread. So I went with what was on hand at our local grocery store. Which, by the way, has a wonderful selection of artisinal breads. Although they didn't have a muffaletta loaf with sesame seeds they had a beautiful round Calabrese.
from Nola Cuisine
1 1/cup Green Olives - pitted
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives - pitted
1 cup Gardiniera (pickeld cauliflower, carrots, celery pepperoncini)
1 Tbsp capers
3 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
1/8 cup celery - thinly sliced
1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley - chopped
1 Tbsp fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried
1 tsp crushed red pepper
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
1 Tbsp green onions - thinly sliced
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups or more Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Crush each olive on a cutting board with your hand. Combine all ingredients. Cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Put into a bowl or jar, cover and let flavor marry for 1 week.
For the meats and how the sandwich is assembled I went with some guidance from NoLa Cusine and also from a show I saw on the Food Network about Muffaletta.
100g Genoa Salami
100g Swiss cheese
100g Provolone cheese
1 10" round of Muffaletta bread or something similar
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Slice the loaf of bread in half horizontally.
2. On the bottom half press as much of the Olive Salad as will fit to cover, letting the oil seep into the bread.
3. On the top half place the meats and cheeses in the following layers, using all of the meat. Salami, Provolone, Capicola, Swiss Mortadella, Mozarella.
4. Carefully flip the top onto the bottom. Place on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven for 5 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve.
This truly is the ultimate sandwich and with such little effort won me major brownie points with the boy. The one complaint was the very crusty bread I used. I normally love crusty bread, but with the size of this sandwich it was just a bit too much and quite tough to eat. That being said, it was well worth the effort eating it! The combination of the meats and cheeses with the delicious olive salad was perfect. With any leftover salad you can easily make some garlic toasts and make a tasty bruschetta.
Once my bread making skills improve I plan to try to make my own muffaletta bread or maybe I'll get to New Orleans before then and have a legit Muffaletta from the world famous Central Grocery. Enjoy!