Food & Drink Magazine

One Incredible NOLA Sandwich ~ The Muffuletta, Inspired by Central Grocery & Market

By Weavethousandflavors

The Muffaletta-2
Think of the Muffuletta as just a sandwich with a pile of cold cuts and cheese thrown on and you'd be so wrong!

In my humble opinion, here's a sandwich by which all others should be judged, a bastion in the world of sandwiches if you will.

And when it comes to the Muffuletta, you'd be hard pressed to find one that come close to the one found right here in New Orleans - The Central Grocery & Market on Decatur street. 

Central-grocery-company

To make a great Muffaletta, you have to have (1) a nice robust olive salad, then (2) comes the bread - traditionally a 10-inch round with sesame seeds on top, just a light crust an soft interior and last (3) a great selection of meats (go for the imports people!)

So the way I figure it, I've got (1) and (3) covered and my bread ain't bad either. But I can't imagine sharing this with you folks and expecting you to pull out the yeast everytime you want a Muffuletta. So that calls for a compromise.

I went to my artisan neighbourhood bakery and pressed down every circular bread I could find so I get one that has a nice crust but is also somewhat soft (you know there's only so much soft you'll get with an Italian bread....but oh! well)

I was pretty happy with a nice Italian round about 8" in dia. that I picked up. And with my olive salad ready to go, so am I. In my humble opinion, this right here is a wicked  Muffuletta, but I'm not so arrogant as to proclaim it's in the league of Central Grocery.

I do think that unless you are a hop, skip and jump away from NOLA, you'll find this recipe deeply satisfying.

But before you run off, don't forget to get the recipe for the amazing olive salad with is key, right here!

Olive salad-01

 

Gather the ingredients,

1 qty 8" or 10″ round loaf Italian bread, 2-1/2 to 3 cups home made Olive salad, 1/4 lb Genoa Salami, 1/4 lb  Capocolla (delicious spicy ham from Italy), 1/4 lb Rosmarino Ham (or any ham you like), 1/4 lb Mortadella with pistachios, 1/4 lb Sliced Mozzarella cheese &  1/4 lb sliced Provolone cheese

Assembly: A photo essay!

Muffaletta-collage1

Cut the bread in half length wise.

Brush both sides with the oil from your home made Olive Salad, be liberal and don't pinch!

Layer half of the olive salad on the bottom half of the bread.

Muffaletta-collage2

Muffaletta-collage3

Muffaletta-collage4

Then the Mortadella & the Mozzarella. Top the other half of the bread with this with the olive salad.

Muffaletta-collage5

I use the half with the cheese and smash it down on the other half. I then turn it over. Wrap the whole sandwich in about 3 layers of cling wrap.

It is a messy job and oil will ooze!

Press the sandwich down with cast iron pans and set aside on the counter top for 2 hours. This is so all the lovely oils and salad juices can penetrate and flavor the sandwich.

Muffaletta-collage6

And here it is, ready to dig into! Enjoy!

 

The Muffaletta-1

 

Recipe for

The Muffuletta

1 qty 8" or 10″ round loaf Italian bread

2-1/2 cups home made Olive salad

1/4 lb Genoa Salami

1/4 lb  Capocolla (delicious spicy ham from Italy)

1/4 lb Rosmarino Ham (or any ham you like)

1/4 lb Mortadella with pistachios

1/4 lb Sliced Mozzarella cheese

1/4 lb sliced Provolone cheese

Assembly:

Cut the bread in half length wise.

Brush both sides with the oil from your home made Olive Salad, be liberal and don't pinch!

Layer half of the olive salad on the bottom half of the bread.

Layer the Provolone cheese.

Next comes the Genoa salami.

Then the Rosmarino ham & the Capocolla.

Then the Mortadella with pistchios and the mozzarella on top.

Pile the remaining olive salad on the remaining 1/2 of the bread.

Carefully turn the bottom half (with the meat and the cheese) over the top half of the bread. Turn over so both halves are properly stacked.

Completely wrap with cling wrap 2 or 3 times over. Press down with cast iron pans and set aside for 2 hours.

Unwrap, cut into 1/4's.

Enjoy!

 


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