One Year Ago:  Garlic and Olive Oil Infused Beets

Two Years Ago:  Breaded Pork Chops with Sage Cream Gravy

Three Years Ago:  Triple Glazed Chipotle-Plum BBQ Ribs

I apologize that it’s been while since my last post.  I will try to do better.

When I took a trip to New Orleans a few years ago, there were a few culinary places I wanted to visit. One of those places was Central Grocery & Deli, the originator of the muffuletta sandwich. Muffuletta is actually the name of the Sicilian bread that the sandwich is made from, but the sandwich began in the early 20th century when Sicilian immigrant Salvador Lupo, the owner of Central Grocery in New Orleans began making the sandwich for the Italian immigrants in the city.  It has since become a much copied staple of the city and part of the vast landscape of great food that is New Orleans. (I’m looking forward to another trip to NOLA this summer.)

If you’d like updates of future Narnian Chef updates, you can follow me on this blog or on Twitter @NarnianChef.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup pimento-stuffed olives, sliced, plus 2 Tbs. of liquid from the jar

1 cup chopped giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables), plus 1 Tbs. of liquid from the jar

2 Tbs. drained capers, plus 2 teaspoons of liquid from the jar

3 oz. pitted Calamata olives (1/2 cup), sliced

2½ tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbs. minced shallot

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried parsley

Pinch of dried thyme

Pinch of crushed red pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large loaf sesame Italian bread (about 1 lb.), split  (I used two 1/2 pound loaves)

¼ lb. sliced fresh mozzarella

6 oz. thinly sliced capocollo or prosciutto

¼ lb. sliced Genoa salami

¼ lb. sliced mortadella

¼ lb. sliced mild provolone cheese

Pepperocini, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, stir the pimento-stuffed olives with the giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids.

Muffuletta 01

Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.  (The vegetable relish can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)

 Muffuletta 02

Open the Italian bread on a work surface. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread and spread evenly.

Muffuletta 04

Arrange the mozzarella slices on the bottom half of the bread, then top with the capocollo, Genoa salami and mortadella.

Muffuletta 05

Arrange the provolone cheese on the top half of the bread, covering the olive salad completely. (This will help you close the sandwich.)

Muffuletta 06

Carefully close the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Muffuletta 07

Cut the sandwich into 8 pieces (or 4 pieces each if using 2 loaves) and serve peperoncini on the side.

Muffuletta 00

The rich flavor of that vegetable and olive salad and the salty cured meats make for a memorable sandwich.

We build a monument of memories with every act of love, including every meal we serve to those we love. I thank God for the opportunity to show love to family and friends.  God has certainly shown the greatest act of love to me.  Have a great week, and may God touch your heart.

 

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