Monday, August 9, 2010

Muffaletta Sandwiches!

All I can say, now that my kitchen is DONE (and awesome!) is: let's get cookin'!  And I have been, oh yes I have.  The other day I read an article about Muffaletta sandwiches and it hit me how MUCH I like them and how long its been since I've had one.  When I read how easy the olive salad can be to make, I made them ASAP.
The olive salad is the key ingredient of this sandwich.  So, let's get started:

Olive Salad

Now, it can get as complicated as you want to make it but, having made it the easiest way possible (4 ingredients) I'm really happy with un-complicated.  

1 jar of Giardineira aka Italian Pickle Mix - reserve 1/4 C liquid, drain the rest
1 can pitted black olives, drained
1 jar pimento stuffed green olives, drained
1/4 C olive oil

Place veggies and olives in food processor and process.  Stir in olive oil and juice.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  I have read that this can keep up to a month.  

So, that is the uncomplicated version and it is very good.  You can also add any of the following:
pickled onions, garlic, capers, capers, oregano, lemon juice.  

The Bread

Italian bread (the round loaf) is what is commonly used for these sandwiches.  The bread I found (at Wal Mart in their bakery dept) wasn't round but worked just dandy:

I sliced it in half, then sliced it in half :o)  (hooray for photos!)

Next you are supposed to scoop out some of the bread to make room for the other ingredients.  I forgot to do this and can now see why you are supposed to do that.  I lost some of the olive salad during the (messy) eating process.

Drizzle some olive oil on, then spread the olive salad very generously on  all sides.

The Meat & Cheese

All I had on hand were the following ingredients, which worked just great:

That is salami, sliced ham, provolone and swiss cheese (and the olive salad on the right).  Other options you can use include mortadella, prosciutto, Havarti, cheddar.  Layer the meat and cheese. 

Since my loaf of bread was a rectangle, I essentially made 4 sandwiches (which turned into 8 after I halved them).  If you use a round loaf you won't have this issue.  Just layer meats and cheese then cut into wedges.

Carefully assemble, then wrap in plastic wrap for cold sandwiches or foil for hot.  Either way, they need to sit for at least an hour or longer in the fridge so the bread can soak up the olive oil and juices.  I like my sandwiches hot,  however I had one the next day that was cold and it was good too!
For hot sandwiches, bake for 30 minutes at 350.  Gently push on them a few times to get the juices into the bread.