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
AND A VARIETY OF MEATS AND CHEESES:
—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.
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.
Combine the fennel, sliced red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, in a small bowl. Toss until thoroughly mixed.
Allow to this mixture to marinate for 10 minutes under the watchful eye of Liberace. Beam with pride because you purchased a fennel bulb.
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.
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.
Use your best Silence of the Lambs voice to say “It spreads the tapenade onto the bread.”
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….”
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.
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.
Place the top of half of the loaf on the meats and cheeses. The hard part is done.
Wrap the entire sandwich with plastic wrap, pulling it tighter than Nicolette Sheridan’s facial skin.
Finally cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!