Saturday, March 12, 2011

Best Sandwich in the World... My World

A blog friend declared, not long ago, that the best muffuletta in her town could be found at such-and-so restaurant. (I'm keeping her identity private. But I will tell you she does not live in New Orleans.)
The best muffuletta in town? That's so "Portlandia." There is NO muffuletta in my town, unless I make one at home, and suddenly I had to make muffulettas.
I could fib and say we ate these on Mardi Gras, but that would be a fib. All we did on Mardi Gras was get drunk on hurricanes and show our breasts. I don't think anybody peed on a wall. (OK, that would all be a fib too. Except the part about the wall, I hope. Cranky?)
Interestingly, we had all the ingredients we needed for these spectacular sandwiches, except for bread. Yes, I live in a house that sometimes does not have bread. But we had mortadella, prosciutto, provolone and two kinds of pitted olives. Do not trot over to your Quickie Mart for the ingredients. Your meat and cheese need to be as good as you can get, and the olives probably shouldn't come from a can. Cranky found some perfect rolls at the farmer's market.
I followed Emeril's guidelines for muffulettas, including the olive salad, which gets spread over and under the cold cuts. I was especially glad he's OK with plucking out extra breadiness from the rolls, because two inches in altitude of bread can really wreck a sandwich.
Verdict: Really, really good. Not sure if they'd be the best in Portland, but I sorta, somehow think they might have been better than Central Grocery's, if memory serves. If that's possible.


Ms Brown Mouse said...

Mmmm, samich! You're absolutely right about sandwich height, too tall and you can’t get your mouth around it, and what’s the point of that?
(Also, you can get olives in tins? Or when you say ‘canned’ do you mean glass jar???)

cookiecrumb said...

Mouse: Right, in tins. Just watery black ones, I think. To be avoided. This was garlicky and sooo good.
Yeah, oh, and when you say too tall a sandwich, it's also too much breadily, breadily, bread bread bread. Phah! Out of balance (but boys think "Extra food!"). The sandwich gets a little oil-soaked. So good.

Little Pots & Pans Co. said...

Oh no, if you had done this Portlandia style you would have known the pig's name and perhaps fed it one of it's last meals of hazelnuts. The cheese would have come from your mailman's wife who runs an organic dairy, the olives which were shipped in by mule pack and the bread from a super secret hipper-than-thou bakery only to obtained by secret knock.
But what do I know, I moved here to retire ;-)
Love sandwich! Makes me miss "grinders" from back east...

cookiecrumb said...

Pots: VERY good. :D
I was a bit lax there. Missed a few key talking points. The cheese, however, came from my mailman's wife's breast milk.
Take that, Portland! (Hee, "retire.") I do envy you up thataway.

Zoomie said...

I've never had a muffaletta - need to try for sure. And I'm with you on the too bready bread - ruins a good sammie.

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: I was so pleased with ours (and we had leftovers; they hold up very well in the fridge), that I would recommend making your own. As always, tinker with the fundamental recipe in quantities (or whether you use mozz cheese; we didn't). But don't add ketchup or mustard. :D
I realize how hard this might be if you haven't had one in NOLa before, for comparison... But our ingredients in NoCa are so superior, I suggest you give it a try!

namastenancy said...

It's funny - I lived in New Orleans when I was a teen and I never had a mufuletta. We had beignets and Creole coffee and all sorts of other NO treats but no mufuletta. We even had the original Po' Boy (or so I was told) but I wouldn't eat it because it had oysters which I can't stand. But it could be that my memory is at fault because that was about 54 or so years ago.

cookiecrumb said...

Nancy: I wonder if the sandwich already seemed touristy then... You missed a great nosh, though (and I'm shocked you still can't abide oysters, but that doesn't change my esteem for you).
Beignets! Kaff; love 'em but I choke on the powdered sugar.

The Spiteful Chef said...

Bread can so easily make or screw a sandwich. And I feel like I'd totally prefer a tapenade to mayonnaise, so this is fantastic. Plus, I can make a sandwich while strapped to a squalling baby, which is a bonus.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Spitey: Oh, lord. I hope the baby is strapped to you, not the other way around! : )
Yeah, the olive "salad" is the most awesome part. Chopped a lot rougher than tapenade, but your call. The oil... that's what takes care of business. (And it's very garlicky.)
And look. If EMERIL is saying it's OK to pinch out the too-much bread, then... guys?... it's OK.

Greg said...

Sandwich envy!

Heather said...

It is adorable of you to keep identities secret. I would take your muffuletta over the blah-di-blah restaurant's (or small grocery store's) sammich any day.

(And yes, my pork DOES get fed hazelnuts as its last meal!)

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: Hahahaha! I am discreet.
I will make you a sandwich. Probably not hazelnut-fed, but... Portland. You have to. It's in the city charter.
(Do you know Li'l P&P?)