Sunday, February 7, 2010

Muffaletta (Super Bowl)

Well I am always a fan of huge sandwiches, whether making or eating them. So when the Saints were in the Super Bowl, and I was vetoed by the owners of the house whose party I was attending on my suggestion of deep frying anything, I decided to do the right thing, and make a muffaletta (or two). I have had a couple of different muffalettas in my day, but I had never actually made one. So first things first, you need the correct bread. Muffalettas are often pretty hard to eat, because they come on large frisbee sized Italian loaves. Cacia's in South Philly (where we got the 6 foot hoagie roll) was the go to choice. And they delivered (figuratively).

The first step, is to make the olive salad. This is the signature component of the muffaletta. I wanted to go authentic, and as muffalettas were an Italian influenced food that originated in New Orleans, I chose artichokes, roasted red peppers, banana peppers (for a little kick), kalamata olives, and green olives. I threw them all in the food processor, and pulsed a couple times, with fingers crossed. I couldn't have been happier with the results.

(Filled to the brim)

(Nice and chunky!)

(Note: I drained all of the liquid from the jars first, and after placing in a bowl, post chop, I added a healthy dose of olive oil. This gave the oil some great flavor and I rubbed the bottom of the roll with it later.)

After a couple (4) of hours of marinating, I was ready to assemble. I (carefully) sliced the roll and rubbed the bottom with olive oil and some of the marinated olive oil. This helped to soften the bottom of this crusty loaf.

Next I started stacking the meats and cheeses. Once again, in keeping with tradition, I decided to use genoa salami, ham, and mortadella for the meats, and mozzarella and provolone for the cheeses.

One of my favorite tricks that deli's do with crusty bread is to scoop out the inside of the bread in order to facilitate more ingredients, as well as creating a nice little pocket to hold everything together. I used this method and filled the hollowed out top half of the loaf with my olive salad.

Carefully place the bottom on the top and flip. I made this about 4 hours before it will be ready to serve in order to let the flavors really come together.

Wrap tightly with cling wrap and prepare to be the most popular person at the party. Go Saint's.

(Update with some more pics)

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