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Posted on October 30, 2014
They say that the muffaletta was invented in New Orleans by Italian immigrants.
I prefer to think it was made by the food gods and given to mankind as a special blessing.
Certainly Central Grocery in New Orleans makes perhaps the best, but I had one in Columbia (Miss.) the other day that was pretty darn good.
It followed the basic recipe, but it was toasted so the cheese melted. I know the food police will roll their eyes and threaten sanctions, but I am not against innovation, even if it challenges long-standing recipes.
The basic recipe calls for a round loaf of bread (it certainly is of Italian decent), olive salad, mortadella, salami, ham, mozzarella and provolone.
There certainly is nothing to complain about here. But the home cook may be hard pressed to find authentic ingredients. The bread is the biggest problem. Some grocery stores sell round loafs, and you may have a problem finding mortadella, the distant relative of American-made baloney (it was first made in Bologna).
So here is a compromise recipe:
1 loaf crusty French bread
1 cup olive salad
1/4 pound thin sliced salami
1/4 pound thin sliced hickory smoked ham
4 slices smoked bacon
3-4 sliced Swiss cheese
3-4 cloves chopped garlic
Slice the bread open and remove most of the soft white bread inside. In a sauté pan with a little olive oil cook the bacon until crisp, remove and set aside. Add the ham and cook until fragrant, set it aside, add the garlic and cook for just a minute or two. Remove the garlic and add it to the olive salad. Now load the French bread with the salami, ham, bacon, olive salad and cheese. Pop it in a quick oven and toast until the cheese melts. Serve at once with plenty of napkins.
Just in case you are interested: very slow oven is below 300, a moderately slow oven is 325 f., a moderate oven is 350 f., a moderately hot oven is 375 f. and a quick oven is 375-400 f.
Posted on October 29, 2014
There's a new barbecue place in Ocean Springs -- McClure’s Barbecue of New Orleans has partnered with the Mississippi Juke Joint to offer their barbecue in Ocean Springs. Drive east on Government Street, and you’ll run in to it (but you’ll smell it first). This new place stands a chance of making a go of it. I got to sample some of their brisket the other day, and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Barbecue is an art-form, as any aficionado will tell you. Doubt it? Give it a try yourself, but let's get something straight first: there are many levels of barbecue goodness. I've had some store-bought barbecue that was good. I've eaten barbecue at that was better than normal at some restaurants, but that top class, made by real pit masters, is in a category all by itself. My barbecue efforts have been OK, but not great. I have found some success with my barbecue sauce, though. Give this a try and tell me what you think. SWEET BARBECUE SAUCE 2 cups hickory flavored BBQ sauce (use the top brand
Posted by JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD on October 28, 2014
Some people turn their noses up at the thought of Southern country cooking. Shame on them!
Posted by JULIAN BRUNT/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD on October 22, 2014
Pho, the national dish of Vietnam is a delicious beef broth soup, loaded with thin slices of beef and rice noodles.