In just a matter of days Rachel and I will be heading to points South — Atlanta and then New Orleans for a much needed vacation (where we will keep everyone up to date on where we eat, of course!)
At this post on Hedonia, I was reminded of one of my favorite sandwiches from New Orleans, the Muffuletta, which is served throughout the city (and mail order at Progress Grocery) but has made its mark at Central Grocery on Decatur Street in the French Quarter.
The muffuletta is essentially an Italian cold cut sandwich, served on a special round loaf baked specifically for muffulettas. It’s got alternating layers of cheese and different kinds of ham and salamis, but what makes it particularly special is Central Grocery’s Olive Salad which you can also buy by the jar. It’s a secret recipe of different kinds of pickled vegetables including both black and green olives, cauliflower, carrots , roasted red peppers, garlic, oregano and other seasonings.
Two years ago, for the 4th of July, we decided we were going to make a muffuletta of our own, but “Jersey style”. This would be an utterly gigantic sandwich meant to serve six people for a picnic at our local park while we watch the fireworks. The “Sangweech” as it became to be called was an entire Ciabatta loaf that was hollowed out and utterly filled to the brim with six types of Italian cold cuts, provolone and mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, preserved roasted red peppers, arugula and basil, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then compressed with a heavy weight overnight in the refrigerator while sealed in a plastic bag.
A closeup of the Sangweech.
The Sangweech. Notice how it takes up almost the entire chopping board and is sitting next to the knife block for approximate scale. It was MASSIVE.
A slice of the Sangweech after being compressed overnight with a heavy weight.
My buddy Andy Kim attempting to eat a piece of Sangweech. Andy and his wife, Lin, have now moved out to Los Angeles. We miss them so, if not because there are few opportunities now for making Sangweeches.