Monday, July 26, 2010

Muffaletta

Muffaletta is a famous sandwich invented by Italian immigrants back in the early 1900's. It was a
popular sandwich in New Orleans and still is popular today. This delicious, sturdy sandwich is made with round Italian bread, cold cuts, Italian cheese with an olive spread. I just love this sandwich and it is a great make ahead meal. It serves 6 portions! 
  • 1 round loaf of Italian bread (about 8-10 inches in diameter)
  • 4-6 oz. each of the following lunchmeats: salami, ham, bologna, prosciutto
  • 6 oz. provolone cheese
  • 1 small sweet onion sliced very thin
  • pepperoncini peppers in jar sliced and drained
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • dried oregano
  • olive brushetta in jar or olive tapenade
*** Read below for my healthier and time saving tips.

1) Cut bread in half crosswise leaving 2/3 on the top. Spread ½ to ¾ cup olive mixture on bottom half. Then layer evenly with lunchmeat and provolone cheese. Spread onion over top, then pepperoncini's, covering completely. Cover generously with black pepper and oregano.

2) On bread top brush with olive oil until an even layer covers the inside of the top of bread. You may brush on with a pastry brush. Place top of loaf over sandwich and cover with foil.

3) Then place sandwich in a pan and cover it with a cast iron skillet with some heavy cans on top. You will need weight to flatten sandwich down and flavors will meld overnight. Refrigerate overnight.

May be kept for 2 days before eating. When ready to serve slice in half then cut each half into thirds. This will give you 6 pie shaped servings. Mmmm!! Enjoy!!

***Healthier version: I like to scoop out extra bread from top piece leaving a concave shell. To cut back on the fat in the lunchmeat I have used a variety pack of butterball turkey lunchmeats (turkey ham, white turkey, bologna, and turkey salami), and low fat provolone as well.

** For a time saver I used brushetta olive mix bought in the ethnic isle. Your preference as to whether or not you want black or green olives. Or you can use olive tapanade in the refrigerated section of most stores. This is a great make in advance meal that will be sure to create a buzz. Yummy!

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