Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Fat Thursday! Pass the Muffuletta.

Well, by now the tourists have mostly filed out of Venice, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro: the streets are being swept clean and Carnival preparations are beginning for next year. But Milan is still going strong! Today the Office of International Mobility at the University of Milan-Bicocca lets its hair down and gets jiggy with a Carnival parade, fireworks display, masked ball, pot-luck lunch. Actually the lack of sequined dancing girls and heavy drinking at our lunch does speak to the subdued tone of a Milanese carnival. Still, it's great to live somewhere where Carnival is a recognized holiday.

In Italy, outside of Venice and Viareggio, Carnival is largely a kids' holiday. They dress up in costumes and attend small parades where float-riders toss candy to them. The holiday really reminds me a lot of Halloween.

This muffuletta sandwich is based on NOLA Cuisine's own version, except that I used my own homemade sourdough bread and had to improvise on the olive salad (really, a giardiniera as far as I'm concerned), also, Danno uses mortadella, which I detest so I went for the cooked ham instead. Also, the bland, Northern Italian "giardiniera sauce" that I added spices to in hopes of replicating the Chicago-style sauce, is a bust. My only consolation is that most of my colleagues are from the North of Italy and seem rather afraid of spice. Above is the finished product already wrapped and ready to go.

Here are the ingredients:

1 1-lb round loaf or boule
1/4 lb salami (I used "salame Milano Negroni")
1/2 lb coppicolla (gobagool) hot or mild
1/4 lb cooked ham, sliced deli thin
1/2 lb mild provolone, sliced deli thin
1 cup giardiniera sauce, hot or mild
5 big lettuce leaves

First, if your giardiniera is chunky, mince the vegetabes finely or whizz in your food processor.

Slice your round loaf through as if it were a huge hamburger bun. Spread 1/3 of the giardiniera over the bottom, and the other 2/3 on the top (makes for minimum oozing). Allow the oil to soak in for about 1/2 hour. Layer the meats evenly then the provolone and finally the lettuce. Bring to your office pot-luck and serve cut into wedges.

**One more boastful note about Chicago street food. The famed muffuletta sandwich is extremely similar to what is known in Chicago as an Italian sub. Salami, gobagool and ham with sliced tomato and shredded lettuce are layered on a length of baguette and dressed with "oil" the oil, however is suspiciously flavorful like the oil of giardiniera sauce. If you ever wondered, while watching The Sopranos, who Paulie Walnuts is referring to when he derides the "mayonnaisers", it's people who are out with the out crowd in terms of Italian-American culture and put mayo on their Italian sub rather than the ambrosiac "oil".


Blogger Cherry said...

Sounds devine!
I rarely put coppicolla in sandwhiches because I love it so much it usually just goes straight into my mouth. Hot or Mild, I don't care. Depends on my mood.

Oh, and I admit. I'm a mayonnaiser.

6:56 PM  
Blogger ML said...

What a yummy concoction! Lovely.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Cherry said...

I'll have you know that I couldn't stop thinking about Coppicolla all day so I asked my Eric to go to our local Italian Deli and he got us each a yummy sub with Hot Coppicolla, Procuitto, Salami and Provolone. And yes, I still had them put mayo on it.
Bad habits aren't broken that easily.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm loving your muffuletta!


2:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm loving too! it's very good... tnk susan!


10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm loving too! it's very good... tnk susan!


10:32 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Cherry, You're a mayonnaiser! I think that's fabulous. It's NOT a bad habit. I really prefer the oil, but to each her own.

Hiya ML, Thanks!

Hi eggì, Em, Elena...sei tu?

11:35 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Oh, just a note of clarification on the improvised giardiniera: It wasNOT goo when I ate a small spoonful of it plain, but once on the sandwich, it turned out much better than I had expected. The bright flavor of the vinegar really did the trick.

2:13 PM  
Blogger beenzzz said...

That looks and sounds delicious! Now I'm hungry. I guess I'd better make myself some breakfast! :)

5:10 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Ok, the next time I'm in Chicago, I know I want to get the "Italian Sub", it's probably the closest I will ever get to eating a muffuletta sandwich, no?

1:07 PM  
Anonymous rowena said...

Interesting to read about the similiarity between the muffuletta and the italian sub. Now I know that in no way does Subway's italian sub comes close to the real thing, but the mention of an italian sub sandwich had me salivating!

RYC: We are planning on attending Il Polentonissimo in Piedmont. Sounds like it'll be a great event!

9:06 AM  

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