I woke up this morning thinking to myself... "Eat like a Cajun" and immediately thought of crawfish, muffalettas and King's cake.
I read that crawfish will be available by the end of the week, so I decided instead to make a muffaletta.
The muffaletta was made famous back in 1906 by the Central Grocery in New Orleans.
The first time I visited New Orleans, I enjoyed a muffaletta and a Dixie beer at Central Grocery and it was to die for.
What makes the muffaletta so good is the olive mixture.
I found my recipe for the olive mixture in USA Weekend, May 1991 by Lee Bailey, who died back in 2003.
I have tweaked it just a bit and it has become a favorite of mine.
Use what you need for the sandwich and refrigerate the remainder to use as a dip or a spread for bruschetta.
1 medium jar GREEN OLIVES WITH PIMENTOS, drained
1 can BLACK OLIVES, drained
2 cloves of GARLIC
2 ANCHOVY FILLETS
2/3 c. OLIVE OIL
2 tsp. LEMON JUICE
5 Tbsp. PARSLEY, chopped
1 Tbsp. CAPERS
3 PEPPEROCINI, finely diced
Several jarred PIMENTOS, diced
1 tsp. DRIED OREGANO
FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER, to taste
In a food processor: coarsely chop green olives and put in bowl.
Coarsely chop black olives and add to bowl.
With processor running add garlic and anchovies.
Add olive oil and lemon juice. Pour over olive mixture.
Add parsley, capers, pepperocini, pimento, oregano and pepper and stir until combined.
This is best made ahead to let the flavors develop.
Now to make the muffaletta you will need...
1 round loaf of SOURDOUGH or RUSTIC ITALIAN BREAD, cut horizontally
GENOA SALAMI, HAM, PEPPERONI, sliced PROVOLONE CHEESE and MOZZARELLA CHEESE
Put some of the olive salad on the bottom piece of bread.
Layer meats and cheeses on top of this.
Then put a generous layer of the olive salad on top of the meat and cheeses.
Put remaining piece of bread on top. Allow sandwich to sit for about 20 minutes so the olive mixture can soak into the bread.
Traditionally, this is not heated; however, I like to cut the loaf in quarters, wrap tightly in foil and bake at 350 degrees
until the cheese has melted and the sandwich is heated through.
Open the foil and allow to stay in oven about 5 minutes longer with the heat off.
This makes a "man-size" sandwich, and be sure to have extra napkins handy!