This weekend my family and I are making a trip down south to "the big easy." For those not familiar with that term (or this part of the country), I'm referring to non-other than the ultimate party city, New Orleans. Let me put to rest your wild imagination though. We aren't going to New Orleans to party. I mean, come on! I'm going with my mom! However, there will be much reveling (not revealing), and much devouring (not debauchery) taking place!
This trip is kind of a big deal to me! I haven't been to New Orleans in nearly 10 years....which is so weird for me to say. Growing up we visited the city quite a bit. My dad lived in New Orleans in his young adulthood, and has always loved the city. In fact, one of my favorite memories was a spontaneous trip that we took when I was around 10-12. My parents just up and decided to take us to Nola for the weekend, and when we arrived late that Friday night, my dad took us on an adventure walking the city instead of making us go to sleep. It was fantastic!
However, New Orleans was never really an important or appealing city to me as a child. Yes, I enjoyed visiting. They have a great aquarium and zoo! But it was never one of those places that I truly loved to visit. Probably because the city is kinda dirty. Like Paris. (Paris doesn't really appeal to me either. At least, it didn't when I visited.) And most people go to New Orleans to make fools of themselves and lost all of their inhibitions. I like my inhibitions just as they are.
Needless to say, New Orleans is very unique. The city is rich with history that not only has affected the South of today, but also our entire country. And besides a culture of gypsy lined streets, voodoo, magic and superstition, New Orleans is also a city full of culinary wonderfulness! If you have never had a coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Mond, a shrimp poboy from Cafe Masperos or a muffuletta from Central Grocery, then you probably have never really lived. Seriously. New Orleans has fantastic food! Food I fully intend to explore and sample during my three mini-break.
In honor of my trip down south, I would wanted to post a recipe for muffulettas. I haven't always been a fan of this massive sandwich, probably because I'm not such a huge fan of salami and other such meats. But the one time I have made this sandwich, it was completely to die for!
I have to admit that my recipe is part what I have found online and part what I can remember from making this nearly 2 years ago. I was "taught" by...well...let's just say some random person's mom. And I didn't write it down. And I can't remember it exactly step-by-step. But, from reading several different recipes online, here's what I can put together.
**Special Note: Many of these ingredients aren't always found at a regular grocery. You may need to find a specialty store (like Central Market in Texas or Fresh Market in central MS). You can also find these at a local butcher or meat market.
10-15-inch loaf of Italian bread (which I can totally new bake on my own with my new cookbook)
1 jar of Olive Salad (if you can't find it, make it)
4 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
4 oz. sliced provolone cheese
4 oz. thinly sliced cappocolo or prosciuto
4 oz. thinly sliced Genoa salami
4 oz. thinly sliced mortadella (I prefer with olives.)
4 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni or a peppered salami
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice loaf of bread in half, horizontally. Spread thin layer of olive oil on each side of the bread, then spread a generous layer or olive salad on each half.
Layer the mozzarella over the olive salad on the bottom half of the loaf, and then layer with meats (in no particular order). Next, cover the top half of the bread with the provolone, and place on top of the bottom half to make a sandwich.
Wrap the sandwich in foil and bake at 375 degrees until the sandwich is hot and the cheese has melted. It should take about 15-20 minutes.
Unwrap sandwich and slice in wedges, like a pie. This recipe will make 4 extremely large servings or 6-8 smaller sandwiches. Serve with chips and Abita beer. : )
If you can't make it down to New Orleans, have a taste of it in your own home! But I recommend going at least once in your life!