When I missed Central Grocery's muffaletta, I made my own hot version: I toned down the vinegar in the olive salad and added more of an olive oil base. The olive spread makes the sandwich special, but the round, seeded Italian bread is just as important.
Deli meats, cheeses, and bread:
• 1 pound ham, sliced very thin
• ½ pound hard salami, sliced thin
• ¼ pound Swiss cheese
• ¼ pound provolone cheese
• 3 eight-inch rounds muffaletta bread or 12-inch loaves of French bread
For the olive topping:
• ½ cup green stuffed olives
• ½ cup pitted black olives
• 2 tablespoons capers
• 1 cup Italian marinated giarniniera (If you can not locate this, blanch 1 cup fresh cauliflower in boiling water for 45 seconds, drained, and mix with 1 teaspoon white vinegar.)
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon fresh garlic
• 1 teaspoon paprika
Make the olive topping:
Put all ingredients in food processor and using the pulse control, chop and blend. Do not puree—this should be chopped.
Assemble the sandwiches:
Slice bread in half, and spread the olive mixture on the top and bottom. On the bottom half, evenly distribute the sliced ham, and then top with Swiss cheese. On the top half place the provolone cheese and then the salami.
Bake open-face until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp. Put the two halves together, slice and serve.
To read Regina Charboneau's post on southern-style food for Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl, click here for the story.