Friday, November 7, 2014

Central Grocery doesn't deliver

The muffaletta from Central Grocery in New Orleans is my favorite sandwich. And that is saying a lot when you consider that my runners up are the grilled pork sandwich from Paseo in Seattle, the cap and cheese from Primanti Brothers (the location in The Strip only) in Pittsburgh and The Godmother from Bay Cities Itailan Deli in Santa Monica.

Lots of delis and sandwich shops here in Los Angeles make their version of a muffaletta, but I haven't found any of them particularly satisfying.  And since Central Grocery doesn't deliver, sometimes I have to take matters into my own hands.

It started with bread.  I've been on a bread baking kick lately thanks to an absurdly easy and crazy good recipe from Cucina Collora.  A perfect loaf, just out of the oven, begged to become sandwiches.
I made this beautiful thing. 
Crusty exterior, great crumb, slightly sour flavor.   Perfect for muffaletta.
While my bread was cooling, I made what I consider to be the most crucial component of the sandwich:  the olive salad.
I combined kalamata and picholine olives with our homemade giardiniera and pickled hot and sweet peppers and a little olive oil.  Add a bit of salt (not much) and some black pepper and you're all set.
You can use whatever good stuff you've got on hand to make your olive salad.  The longer you let it marinate before you use it, the better it tastes.
Drew stepped in, as he often does, to assemble our sandwiches.
Lettuce and tomato, then salami, mortadella and capicola.  And Drew's big bird slippers.
Provolone cheese, my fabulous spicy olive salad and condiments.  Just to gild the lily, we topped it all off with a kosher dill pickle slice, too.
Not bad for our first go at it.  And I barely had time to take the photos before we'd devoured them.

Got a favorite sandwich?  A favorite sandwich joint?  A secret spot for great muffaletta?  You know I'd love to hear all about it.

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