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Monday, September 08 2008
The Muffuletta is a Sicilian specialty sandwich that is affectionately called The Muff. When the Italians came to America The Muff was adopted by the southern states and specifically New Orleans. The Muff was made famous in 1906 by the Central Grocery shop of New Orleans. The Muff is like the ultimate club sandwich and then some. The Muff is made of a 10 inch wide round loaf or ciabatta. The loaf is traditionally hollowed out and stuffed full of cured meats like Parma ham, Mortadella, Pepperoni, Milano and Napoli salami layered upon each other. Then add a couple of different types of cheese like mozzarella and provolone and to finish it off with an olive salad made up of sundried tomatoes, black and green olives, capers, basil, parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Ideally you make up an olive salad the day before to let the flavours marry.

Once The Muff is made press it all down, wrap in shrink-wrap and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. It is best to add some added weight to compress the sandwich and so that the oils and flavours get absorbed into the meat, cheese and bread. I think the type of holed cheeses I used enhances this process. I like it warmed slightly in the oven for 5 minutes so that the fats run out of the meat into the bread and the cheese melts. This creates the ultimate warm ham and cheese sandwich or manwich might be more accurate. Apparently warming the sandwich is a big no, no for a Muffuletta. I also made mine more into a Mediterranean sandwich and not strictly Italian. I added Chorizo and Serrano ham, mainly because I couldn't get Parma ham. I also added German peppered salami and Jarlsberg and Emmental cheese. I have seen Peter Gordon do a version were he added some beetroot and carrot, I guess to put a New Zealand spin on The Muff. When I did mine I added the roasted beetroot, but not the carrot. The addition of the beetroot adds a wonderful vibrant colour to the layers when you cut into The Muff. Making and eating this sandwich is an experience, one that needs a napkin for all the juices that dribble down your chin.

Darrell writes an informal blog dedicated To Metallica, Fine Wine & Cake, Cigars, Innovative TV & Cinema. Music With Soul. And a joy of cooking.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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