Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Now, That's a Sandwich


It's no secret how much I love deli sandwiches.  When I was in high school, I had the pleasure to taste my first Schlotzsky's Original sandwich. I thought at the time that I died and went to heaven.  (Hopefully you're a Schlotzsky's fan.)  From the olive spread to the layers of meat and the melted cheese, I was in love.

Many years later, my tastebuds have moved up in the world.  Yes, I still like Schlotzsky's, but I really prefer homemade food to eating out, especially fast food.  The Schlotzsky's Original is a type of muffuletta sandwich, which originated in the home of our Southern cousins, New Orleans.  Some versions of the Schlotzsky's sandwich has a garlic caesar dressing, which I think is divine.  The olive salad consists of, yes, olives, but also the giardiniera which is usually marinated celery, carrots and cauliflower, and also olive oil.  The meat is piled high and layered on thick with ham and assorted salamis.  Top all of that with red onion, tomato slices, sourdough buns, and melted cheese, and you have a French Quarter meal fit for any Mardi Gras king.

Now, me being me, I have to do things my way.  While this version is close to a traditional muffuletta, it is my spin on things.  And I made the bread homemade.  Just cause.

Go grab some Mardi Gras beads and a plastic baby.  Sandwich is on!

MUFFULETTA

FOR THE SOURDOUGH:
1/2 C sourdough starter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 C flour
1 packet yeast
1 T sugar
1 1/4 C 110-115 degree water

FOR THE OLIVE SALAD:
1 green onion
1 C green olives
One 14-ounce can black olives, drained
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C pepperoncini peppers
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 C Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper to taste
Red chili flake to taste

FOR THE SANDWICH:
1 C shredded mozzarella
1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
Assorted Salami (like Genoa, Sopressata, Calabrese, etc)
Sliced deli ham
Tomato slices
Red onion slices
Shredded lettuce

GARLIC PARMESAN CAESAR DRESSING:
1 1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C olive oil
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T lemon juice
2 teaspoons anchiovy paste (optional)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

For the bread, mix all of the bread ingredients together in a stand mixer. Knead until well combined.  Place it in a large greased bowl.  Cover it and let it rest until it has tripled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Divide the dough into four equal balls.  Cover again and let rest until it is well risen, about 1 more hour.  Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and done, about 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely.

For the olive salad, you can either process all of the ingredients in a food processor or chop all of the veggies and then stir in the rest of the ingredients.

For the Garlic Caesar Dressing, mix all of the ingredients together in a blender.

To assemble the sandwiches, split the buns and divide the mozzarella and the parmesan to the bottom half of each sandwich and divide the cheddar cheese among the four top halves.  Melt under a broiler.

Next, spread some of the olive salad on the bottom buns.  Layer the ham and salamis, tomato slices, red onion slices, and lettuce.  Drizzle on some Garlic Caesar Dressing and enjoy!

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