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The buzzword "obsessive" has been around the web for a while now, and the hype of it all has me rolling my eyes. For Christ's sake, how often is someone actually obsessed with something instead of just liking it or wanting it or just being really interested in it? I think this linguistic tendency is the fault of this curious caste, the internet influencers. Everyone is always obsessed with something, usually something new and unusual but very trendy and expensive, and they become obsessed with alarming frequency. This week, a beauty influencer might be obsessed with the latest vegan lip product, humanely extracted from a lichen in northern Madagascar that only grows on the rare Kicojawambi tree. Meanwhile, one lifestyle influencer is obsessed with $160 tea towels (pack of 2) made from 100% sustainably sourced organic vegan cotton, recycled from hand-woven yoga mats used by indigenous tribes. isolated in the Himalayas and dyed with traditional vegetable dyes.
How do I wonder? Can you really obsess over a product so esoteric one week and something so mysterious the next? None of this is to say I'm not impressed with the power of viral marketing, I am. But can't they at least be a little more careful with the Queen's English? "Obsession" implies something passionate, all-consuming, and wild; it's an image that dominates you and carries more than a touch of madness. The influencer class is too cool for that.
Yeah, well, whatever. In fact, I've been looking for the best way to make delicious muffuletta sandwiches for parties for weeks, okay, months. Well, you might think this should be really easy, but it wasn't. Large muffulettas cut into small slices fell apart and made a mess. The Muffuletta tea sandwiches had the wrong ratio of bread to filling. The muffuletta wrappers were not muffulettas. And yet he couldn't stop thinking and talking about it. How does this tie in with my cheesy comments about influencers? I get it: my interest was firmly off the bell curve and it was only getting worse. "Do something else!" they said. "What's happening with you?!?" I said.
For those three readers unfamiliar with the muffuletta sandwich, let Wikipedia help you out:
“The muffuletta sandwich is said to have been made in 1906 at the Central Grocery Co. on Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, by deli owner Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. Another New Orleans Italian deli, Progress Grocery Co., originally started by the Perrone family in 1924, claims that the origin of the muffuletta is uncertain.
The traditional muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta bread that is split horizontally and topped with layers of marinated muffuletta-style olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. Quarter, half, and full size muffulettas for sale.
Signature Olive Salad consists of chopped olives with celery, cauliflower and carrots found in a Giardiniera jar, seasoned with oregano and garlic, topped with olive oil and stirred for at least 24 hours.
A muffuletta is usually served cold, but many vendors toast it."
(And while we're on the subject of that signature olive salad, let me say this: I'm not a huge fan of olives myself. As much as I love gin, I'm never the girl whose olives were stolen.) Drink your martini if you can. wasn't looking. But for the same reason I wasn't upset when the pizza turned up with some black olives BUT, the pivot of the muffuletta is all that olive salad, if you omit it it's just some ham or salami and cheese on top of a big round bread . The olive salad and dressing really make this sandwich. So there's no way you can eat any kind of muffuletta without a good olive salad and lots of it. scold now.)
Back to my problem, there I was, stuck in this party muffuletta thing, trying to figure out how to make them so they don't look like a silly, small, unique version of the original. And so that they do not dry out. And no weird bread. And don't force a party miss by throwing an oily olive salad in front of a guest. In New Orleans, muffulettas are often served cold, but some places will toast them for you. I always go for crusty bread and gooey cheese if that's an option, and thought it would probably be a plus for a party. Melted cheese is better to put them together, right? Pinterest didn't help. Muffulettas in a sesame hamburger bun wouldn't do, toasted or not. My God. Even the best muffulettas aren't made to order anyway, but are made and pressed ahead of time, Italian style, so the olive salad dressing soaks into the bread. And then they bake it for you if you're lucky. How best to appreciate all of these so they're a sensible addition to a stand-up party menu while still being as good as the best examples? think, think, think. I was really, literally obsessed with finding the perfect party muffuletta recipe. More than once I found myself thinking about it in the middle of the night.
Sometimes when I can't find an answer to a problem, I have to force myself to stop thinking about it and trust that the Universe will figure it out and eventually notify me. So I forced myself to stop obsessing over Dadgum mufflettas and do other things. So last week I had an idea to add to my Soup Supper cookbook, a project that is still in the draft stage. It had to do with those amazing ham and cheese sandwiches you make with a packet of King's Hawaiian Rolls and then drizzle a mixture of melted butter, Worcestershire and poppy seeds over the top before baking.
It was like lightning. Or maybe like love at first sight. Regardless, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The recipe I needed totally jumped into my head. And in that moment I knew: my obsession was not in vain. Mini Muffuletta and I would live happily ever after.
Additional review from AP, my neighbor and New Orleans native: "Never had a better muffuletta in New Orleans."
- 1 12 packages salted butter rolls, Use King's Hawaiian
- 3/4 taxes Olivensalat de Central Grocery, undrained and divided
- 1/4 pounds all Deli Mortadella, Ham, Salami, Provolone, Swiss, thinly sliced
- 3 t melted butter
- sesame together
Slide the rolls out of their packaging, but do not pull them apart. Cut the entire bread sheet in half horizontally. You know, on the equator. Place the bottom plate in a pan that will keep it level. The 8 ½" x 11" one worked for me.
Spread a generous ½ cup of olive salad on bottom plate of bread, including plenty of oily dressing. Then put the meat on top, then the cheese and the rest of the olive salad. Cover with the top layer of buns. Carefully cut between sandwiches.
Brush the tops of the loaves with all the butter, paying close attention to the edges and spaces between the loaves. Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds. Cover with aluminum foil and place on a heavy cutting board or a tray with something heavy, a can of something? - in that. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Bake covered at 350° for at least 30 minutes when cool, close to 20 minutes at room temperature.