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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's My Birthday and I'll Muffaletta if I Want To.

It might be one of the most perfect foods. Then again, I might say that about anything that has olives in it. A Muffaletta, if you're not familiar, is an Italian sandwich that was created in New Orleans. It's usually made on a crusty round loaf of bread, but I'm using a long one this time. It usually contains various kinds of Italian lunch meats and cheese and then is topped with a spread made of olives, garlic, roasted peppers and all kinds of yumminess. So let's start with the olives. I use pitted Kalamata (although you can pit them yourself if you like).

Then use a large green olive. I don't really have a preference, just whatever is looking good at the olive bar that day.

I used a roasted sweet pepper... you can roast them yourself or use the jarred variety. In this case I use the jarred kind. They work perfectly! Today I have yellow.

This all goes in the food processor with some extra virgin olive oil (just enough to keep the mixture together but not be too wet) and I'd like fresh parsley, but I didn't have any today so I used some dried oregano and dried basil. Pulse it slowly until it's just chopped and mixed (zebra bowl is optional).

Then take your bread and cut it in half lengthwise. I like to dig out some of the bread from the top so the olive spread has a nice little cubby to nestle itself into. And then put the spread on that side of the bread. You can use as much or as little as you want. If you have some leftover, mmmm bruschetta.

And now it's time to add the meat! You can use whatever varieties of meat you want... capicola, mortadella, pepperoni, salami, ham, whatever you like. I just happen to have some ham leftover from earlier in the week so I used that as well as capicola and mortadella.

Then comes the provolone. If you don't like provolone, by all means use mozzarella. After you put the cheese on, carefully... very carefully, put the top of the bread over it. Then wrap it in plastic wrap, tightly, and place in the fridge. It should stay in there a couple hours so the olives have time to seep into every crevice of that bread.

Take it out about half an hour before you are going to eat it, unless you like it cold, then this step is not necessary. Enjoy!!!

What would I do differently if anything? I might cut it down to 1 or 2 cloves of garlic instead of the three I used. This particular garlic is really strong and kind of spicy. If the garlic is milder, I'd go with three. I'd also pull out some of the bread on the bottom half. But oh yes, the muffaletta is delish!!!


Elaine said...

All I can say is YUM, YUM, YUM!!!

This was out of this world! I used a small round Tuscan loaf of bread since I didn't know who would eat it in my house. My son did like it when he had a bite of mine, so now I'll have to share.
I also used fresh basil & parsley in the olive mixture.

I spread the extra olive mixture that I had left on the doughy part that I removed (it was a sin to waste it!) and I thought I died and went to heaven!!

I definitely recommend trying this. You did good Kath!!!

Carol said...

Yummy!! You're so talented and creative! It looks delicious!