Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Stuffaletta, or Anti-Hero Sandwich

I've never been to New Orleans, but I've lived more of my life in St. Louis than any other single city and it's the next best thing in many ways, including Mardi Gras and the Muffuletta sandwich. Since I moved away, however, the closest I've come to the good old muff is the Italian hero sandwich that was briefly featured at the local Subway restaurant. Today, I decided to improvise with what I had in my fridge and see how close I could come to it, without necessarily having all the required ingredients. So I submit to you the Stuffaletta, a.k.a. Anti-Hero Sandwich.

You're supposed to start with the particular kind of bread for which the sandwich is named, something vaguely like a ciabatta roll. I used two slices of cottage bread, with mayonnaise on one slice and my own, improvised olive salad on the other. For the salad, which I wouldn't exactly call a tapenade but maybe more of a crapenade, I chopped up four jumbo garlic-stuffed green olives along with the garlic cloves they came with, and a small can of sliced black olives, and stirred them together with a flatulent squirt of spicy brown mustard out of a store-brand squeeze bottle. Half of this mixture went on the bread; the rest I saved in a tiny, covered jar in the fridge, so I can do this again tomorrow.

Lacking the traditional Italian meats, I used some deli-sliced smoked ham, a couple slices of Oscar Mayer bologna, and a couple sandwich-sized slices of pepperoni. I also didn't have any cheese on hand except American slices, so I slapped on a couple of those. I didn't feel up to grilling it. Seriously, I'm in a rush here. I have to go back to work in a few minutes. So, I ate it cold. It was good. It was interesting. It had a certain ring of familiarity to it that did remind me of the good old days in St. Louis. It went down, stayed down, and filled the spot I needed filled. So, crapenade-stuffaletta though it may be, and antiheroic as hell, I'm pleased with the result.


Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

I acquired a taste for a lot of things during my time in Louisiana. The muffuletta wasn’t one of them. The olive salad doesn’t do it for me.

RobbieFish said...

It's all about that olive salad! Although the St. Louis version might taste different from the NO version. I noticed it always had gabagool on it and I'm not sure they use that in La. Those Italian deli meats in St. Louis really tasted special.