Posts Tagged ‘muffaletta’

Roundup time! Here are a few quick pics – some of which have been lingering on my memory card far longer than others – that are worth sharing.

As a well-chronicled fan of the muffaletta, I was happy to give the sandwich another spin.

Sandwich rounds were the vessel for this version, stuffed with the traditional olive spread, mortadella, salami and provolone. The mini-muffalettas received a quick turn on the grill pan before I packed them up for a picnic, where they were well received at room temperature.

I’m almost literally in constant search of what I call the “sophisticated” casserole: a dish fancy enough for entertaining that still comes together easily in a one-pot meal.

This Greek Shrimp Casserole from the Washington Post fits the bill. I prepared a pan for a pregnant friend and froze it for some easy eats after baby arrives.

Truth be told, I can’t remember exactly which recipe I used to produce these fudgy brownies. But given the inherent beauty of this favorite dessert, I thought the picture was too pretty to pass up!

I love a trifle for so many reasons. It comes together in a snap; it’s hard to mess up; store-bought ingredients are not only acceptable, but encouraged; it is, by its very nature, a forgiving dessert; it can be adapted easily to whatever ingredients you have on hand – angel cake and blackberries, pound cake and strawberries, sponge cake and blueberries; it’s best received when made in advance; and, inevitably, the results are tasty. And did I mention that, layered sky-high in a lovely trifle dish, this dessert is quite the looker? What’s not to love?

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Muffaletta Remix

Mardi Gras may have come and gone, but the flavors from last Tuesday’s celebratory feast are still fresh in Miss Menu’s mind.

In years past, my contributions to the annual office Mardi Gras party have included a sausage & chicken jambalaya and a Cajun-flavored dish of lima beans & carrots. But this year I decided to mix things up a bit with my own take on the muffaletta.

The muffaletta is an exemplary sandwich, piled high with olive salad, Italian meats and cheese. So what makes the muffaletta distinctively New-Orleanian? Good question. The folks at the Central Grocery Co., located in the historic French Quarter, conceived of the behemoth sandwich in 1906. In the ensuing 100+ years, the sandwich grew in popularity until Central Grocery became a bona-fide tourist destination, attracting crowds for a taste of the original muffaletta (or to buy some of their jarred olive salad).

The sandwich is traditionally served cold on a round loaf. Lacking this well-shaped bread, I opted to slice a long loaf of Italian bread in half lengthwise to create two open-faced sandwiches, each of which received a quick turn in the toaster oven until the cheese was brown and crispy. Cutting each loaf into mini-muffalettas ensured there was enough to go around for my coworkers.

Miss Menu’s Open-Faced Muffalettas
Customize your own muffaletta-mix with different types of olives, anchovies, capers and Italian deli meats.

  • 1 loaf bread (ciabatta or Italian)
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed olives
  • 1 cup kalamta olives
  • 1 cup Giardiniera, or Italian pickled vegetables (sold in jars in the pickle aisle)
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers
  • A couple healthy shakes of oregano and crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 pound sliced salami
  • 1/4 pound sliced mortadella (essentially an Italian-style bologna made with cubes of pork fat and garlic flavoring)
  • 1/4 pound sliced provolone
  • A sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan

Place olives, garlic, shallot, Italian pickled veggies, roasted red peppers, oregano, crushed red pepper and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until coarsely chopped. Let sit for an hour or over night.

Using a large serrated knife, slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise.

Spread each half of the loaf with the olive salad, then top with mortadella, salami, provolone and parmesan. Toast for 5 minutes in the toaster oven or place under oven broiler until cheese bubbles and browns. Slice and serve.

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