Friday Football Foodie: Add Meat, Add Cheese, Repeat.

Welcome to my very first Football Foodie, a post that gives me an excuse to take photographs of my kitchen and to make a meal that doesn’t involve corn dogs. Or this.


Today we’re going to make a variation on the muffuletta sandwich. “Muffuletta” is an Italian word that means “I hope you own a defibrillator”. It is also the title of a movie I once saw on Spectravision. This ginormous sandwich is can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, requires no actual cooking, and will give you the opportunity to purchase a variety of meats and cheeses. Let’s get started…


You will need:
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and cut into thin slices (approximately 1 ¼ cups)
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I will NOT call it EVOO, Rachel Ray, you man-handed hussy.)
¼ tsp each salt and pepper, mixed
8 inch round loaf of Italian bread
Note: This is for the traditional recipe; I couldn’t find the right round bread, so I substituted a regular loaf of Italian bread.
2/3 cup kalamata olive tapenade
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 medium-sized tomato, thinly sliced
4 oz. thinly sliced proscuitto
4 oz. hard salami
Note: I learned yesterday that approaching the man at the deli counter and very sincerely asking “Can I get some of your hard salami?” is not considered to be appropriate.
4 oz. mortadella (a pretentious, overpriced way of saying “baloney”)
4 oz. Provolone cheese
4 oz. Fontina cheese

Read that again. There is over a pound of meat and cheese in this thing. Suck it, P’Zone.

It Slices the Fennel

Thinly slice the fennel bulb. Yesterday, I learned that Fennel, which smells like licorice, is part of the carrot family and that the entire plant can be eaten. The cross-eyed but helpful Produce Guy said that the leaves can be saved, chopped, and used as an ingredient in a delightful cream sauce. He also said that I had some barbecue sauce on my face, so I trust his judgment.

It Tosses the Fennel

Combine the fennel, sliced red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, in a small bowl. Toss until thoroughly mixed.

It Watches the Fennel

Allow to this mixture to marinate for 10 minutes under the watchful eye of Liberace. Beam with pride because you purchased a fennel bulb.

It Slices the Bread

While you wait, cut the loaf of bread in half horizontally. Starting about ½” from the ends of the loaf, remove the soft part of the bread. This will hollow it out and make room for the meats and cheeses. Please note that I used the phrase “hollow out” without making a reference to Lindsay Lohan.

It Makes a Snowman

Optional step: Make a snowman out of the bread parts. Also optional: Eating the entire snowman and spending a good twenty minutes curled into a ball on your sofa.

It Spreads the Tapenade

Use your best Silence of the Lambs voice to say “It spreads the tapenade onto the bread.”

It Layers the Meats and Cheeses

And this, my friends, is where the magic happens. On the bottom half of the bread, begin making layers of ingredients. Start with the fennel/onion mixture, then add the mortadella, the fontina, the salami, and half of the peppers. Catch yourself singing “My mortadella has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R….”

It Has Meat Porn

Add tomato slices (which you may want to remove the seeds from, to prevent the bread from getting soggy) the provolone, and prosciutto. Finish with a final layer of the remaining peppers.

It Admires Its Creation

Admire what you have created. Perhaps make that noise that Tim Allen used to make in every episode of “Home Improvement”. Then immediately poke at your brain with a Q-Tip until all memories of “Home Improvement”–or of Tim Allen, period– have been destroyed.

It Finishes

Place the top of half of the loaf on the meats and cheeses. The hard part is done.

It Wraps the Sandwich

Wrap the entire sandwich with plastic wrap, pulling it tighter than Nicolette Sheridan’s facial skin.

It Uses the Foil

Finally cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge.

It Flattens the Sandwich

To flatten this bad boy out and make it more manageable, we want to weigh it down with something heavy: a skillet, a pot lid, or a list of my recent failures. I used The Andy Warhol Diaries and both volumes of Monty Python scripts. The sandwich will be both delicious and pretentious. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24…

5 Songs You Should Download While You Wait:

“Good Man”– Josh Ritter

“Mansard Roof”– Vampire Weekend

“The Opposite of Hallelujah”– Jens Lekman

“Hurricane Jane”– Black Kids

“Pots and Pans”– Les Savy Fav

Then, for real, go buy more music from these artists because they are awesome.

It Ruins the Picture

When ready to serve, unwrap and cut into the desired number slices. Take a huge bite of it before taking this picture. Also, pick up your Lipitor prescription.


it Mixes the Chex

As far as snacks go, I suggest this new variety of Chex Mix. Nothing simultaneously says “I have chosen a variety of treats for you” and “I really don’t give a shit” quite like Chex Mix. And this kind involves peanut butter!

It is Disappointed

I almost purchased these yesterday but was disappointed to learn that they were considered “Cosmic” because of the candies on top and not because they were full of pot.


It Likes the Peace

Today, I recommend the Peace Chardonnay. This Australian white has a screw top, a reasonable price tag, and is one of my favorites. Mainly because I went out with a guy the other night who, after two bottles of this, was totally in to me.

It is a Douche

My other favorite libation that I can make from things I already own is the Jager Bomb.

You will need:
–1 can Red Bull
–1 bottle Jagermeister
–Backwards baseball cap
–Ironic t-shirt

Combine first two ingredients in glass, bathtub, or glove compartment. Chug. And be prepared to try to explain to the UPS man why you are drinking at 9 a.m. and why the floor is covered with bits of meat.

That’s my time, y’all. Enjoy the sandwich and tomorrow’s slate of hot football action. (Go Deacs!)

Also remember that Ladies… is not responsible for any permanent arterial damage caused by consumption of our recipes. Cheers!

34 thoughts on “Friday Football Foodie: Add Meat, Add Cheese, Repeat.

  1. OMG! I just tried to make a meat torte last weekend – similar to the Muffuletta but baked – and FAILED in the baking processes. THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER. (We ate all of our mess though. And by “we”, I mean Yammers, TSB, and myself. All of us gained two pounds.)

    And hey… if you eat salad all week, you can splurge on the weekends. That has always been my motto.

  2. you forgot the most essential part, the olive salad. not actually a salad, or healthy in any way, shape, or form, the olive salad will add 9million calories and a bucket of grease to the sandwich. it will also make it megadelicious and central grocery approved.

  3. Holy hell, are you guys trying to kill me?

    Also, why not just call it olive oil? Does anyone actually use pure olive oil for anything?

    Side note of great interest to the Ladies…supposedly Tom Brady is in talks to model underwear for Calvin Klein.

  4. I blog with a bunch of cooks. I can barely boil water without causing some disaster.

    And I know what I’ll be having tonight as I watch my Scarlet Knights play Army.

  5. “Wrap the entire sandwich with plastic wrap, pulling it tighter than Nicolette Sheridan’s facial skin.”

    I call bs on this, that is a feat that is not in any way possible. Jagermeister is the devil, the devil I tell you! Unless you like puking.

  6. Usedbread- I decided to go with the kalamata tapenade. Same olive-y taste and also makes my refrigerator look way classier.

    Holly, the bread snowman was a definite tribute to your cheese post last week.

    And Metsy, in order to make this, you only need to know how to stack cheese on top of meat on top of bread. For real.

  7. Side note of great interest to the Ladies…supposedly Tom Brady is in talks to model underwear for Calvin Klein.

    Thank you Doug. Thank you.

    I’m going to the doctor on Monday for the Lipitor. I’m so gonna make this soon.

  8. I agree with Rob. Seriously was the deli guy gay? I mean you had me at the how to have sex with a Red Sox fan piece. I’d have been jumping over the deli counter at that remark.

  9. I’m curious what role Liberace had in the assemblance of this masterpiece. I’m guessing it was something to do with the marinating, as I figure Liberace liked marinade.

    Indeed our Great Torte Experiment of ’07 may have made for a giant, cooked mess of meat and cheese, but then again. It was cooked meat and cheese– and I have yet to have someone tell me anything is wrong with that.

  10. Well, I’m a vegetarian, but even I could be persuaded to share your muffuletta, dirty or not. So +1 to you. And thank you to Vanilla for pointing out that the pictures had captions, that made this post 10 times better for me, and believe me it was already awesome.

  11. Gshum–
    Going to the game against Fairfield tonight?

    And I’m betting 10 bucks the cross eyed produce guy works at Lowe’s Foods.

  12. And Metsy, in order to make this, you only need to know how to stack cheese on top of meat on top of bread. For real.

    And that is why I’m glad there are recipes like this. I can do this no problem.

  13. Besides the awesome muffuletta recipe (and you know how to make one — dumbass Bobby Flay made one with MAYO as part of his recipe), you have a kickass kitchen — I’m jealous!

  14. Stacking meat and cheese on bread is right up my alley, culinary skills-wise. I can make noodles and cereal and sandwiches… that’s about it.

    Chocolate Chex Mix? What is this world coming to?

  15. Gordo – I’m pretty sure that movie on Spectravision was called ALottaMuff, not Muffaletta. Not that I would watch Spectravision or anything.

  16. I would have posted my compliments sooner, but just READING about this gave me the fell dropsy for an extended period and I have just now built up my resistance to be able to compliment it. Well done J-Money.


    Ahem. Just saying.

    And I totes knew this was gordonshumway before I read the tags…From the Kitchen! Does that make me a total stalker?

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