Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Muffuleta, Sort of

Inspired by New Orlean's great sandwich, I collaborated with the cook to take best advantage of a local mild Italian sausage, the sweet pretzel rolls that are so delicious and so much in demand that I hesitate to mention them, and a simple mixed saute of cippolina onion, minced garlic, poblano pepper, sliced mushrooms, and broccolini.

Cut the onion into smallish dice. Halve, seed and clean the pepper. Cut quarter-inch strings across its length. The strings hold the mix together in the sandwich. Cut the broccolini into bite-sized pieces, then boil and blanch it until just tender. Be careful and watchful about the timing.

Heat a heavy enameled cast-iron frying pan on low, covered, for fifteen minutes or so. Pre-heating establishes a thermal reservoir that allows a lively saute when the room temperature ingredients hit the pan. My pan is large enough to use as a grill for a small dish: the cook sauteed the mushrooms first, wiped the pan clean and then sauteed onion and pepper in separate piles using olive oil, mixed everything but the mushrooms in a bowl, and then gentled the garlic over heat and mixed it in.

The rolls were burger-shaped and pre-heated. I double-butterflied the pre-cooked sausage, cutting one nearly through the long way on one side, then flipping it over and doing the same on the other. 

A pile of sauteed vegetables topped the sausage, and it was wolfing good. Would have been even better with pepperoncini and, as the cook mentioned, with mushrooms. He held out the mushrooms to have some to use in other dishes later on. A little pile of good potato chips heated to crispness in a slow oven would have brought perfection -30-

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