Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fastest Meal in the West, and An Award!!!

Today was a hectic, hectic day. DS had a rehearsal with his band, Public Broadcast, at another bandmember's house, and DC had a migraine. (Ouch!) I had just enough time to make batch of Elle's delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate Muffins for the bandmembers to eat before taking DS to rehearsal and then heading off to see the Hair God, Drew. My head feels much happier now! The rest of the day was errands, errands, errands, culminating in a stop by Whole Foods for some vittles, as we were starting to run low.

I was going to make some Tuna Melts, since they were on the menu for earlier in the week but we ended up eating something else that night, when I remembered that DS won't eat the Roman Tuna Salad. I swung by the deli area to get him some turkey, when lo and behold, I discovered that the breathtakingly delicious Fra' Mani salumi were back in stock (they've been out for weeks!). That could only mean one thing... my fake-it but tasty Muffalettas all around!

The Berkeley, CA-based Fra' Mani (which means, roughly, hand-crafted) Salumi are just about the best I have ever tasted. This artisanal sausage is made from all-natural pork and naturally cured (no nitrites!), finished off with fruitwood smoke. Silky is the best word I can think of to describe it-- ah, wonderful! DS and I are both mad for all kinds of salami, and there is hardly a better use for them than in the delicious New Orleans creation, the Muffaletta.
I bought half a pound each, sliced, of the Salame Rosa
and the Classic Mortadella.

for our muffalettas. Since the salumi are already so rich, I'll show you my little "monte cristo" trick for creating yummy grilled sandwiches with no butter. (Panini press?? Who needs a panini press?)

Sometimes I wonder if DC realizes to what extent I spoil my guys with the best quality food I can get. When I got home with my treasures, I casually gave him half a slice of the mortadella. "Mmmm..." he said, upon first bite, them, "Wow, this is DELICIOUS, what IS it?" Mortadella, I told him. Kind of like bologna, except it tastes good! Then I let him try half a slice of the salame rosa. His reaction? "This is AWESOME!" Well, good, I said, because it's dinner. Luckily, it's a very quick meal to prepare, and with these marvelous salumi, a real treat, too!! Just the thing when you arrive home at 7 p.m. with a bag of groceries after a day of running errands.

Here is what you will need to prepare

Karen's Sorta Muffalettas (for 3 sandwiches)

6 slices Whole Foods Prairie Bread
Dijon mustard (preferably Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
mayonnaise (preferably Hellmann's)
1/2 lb. mortadella, sliced
1/2 lb. salame rosa, sliced
Prepared roasted sweet red peppers, enough for 3 large pieces
1/2 c. green olives with Sicilian spices, OR prepared green olive paste
5 slices havarti cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat your griddle on medium-low heat. (I set both burners to 4 on my electric stove)
Put your green olives in the food processor and blitz to a paste.

(I put my olives back in the store container after they were blitzed.)
Combine your milk and the eggs in a glass pie plate. Add salt and pepper to taste and put it in a spot near the griddle.

Toast the bread slices lightly in the toaster, then lay them out on the counter, on top of a piece of waxed paper.

Put dijon mustard on half of the slices..
Spread the other 3 slices lightly with mayonnaise, then spread with the green olive paste.

The top slices have dijon, the bottom ones mayo and olive paste.

Now put a slice of havarti cheese on each of the dijon-covered bread slices.
Divide the other 2 slices of cheese evenly and place on top of the olive paste.

Split open the roasted red peppers, dry each piece thoroughly with a paper towel and remove any seeds.

Place a large piece of roasted pepper on top of the cheese on the olive-paste spread bread slices (the cheese helps glue the pepper to the bread).
OK, I did the peppers first and then the cheese... but it's under there.

Now it's time for the lovely mortadella and salame rosa.

Here's the yummy mortadella....

And the scrumptious salame,,,

12. Put the sandwiches together, topping the meat with the pepper, olive-paste and mayo-covered bread.

13. Dip each side of each sandwich in the egg and milk mixture, letting it sit for a good 10-20 seconds per side to soak up the batter. Place the dipped sandwiches back on the waxed paper.

Side one into the egg batter

Side 2 into the egg batter!

Those sandwiches soaked up a lot of batter!

Spray the now-hot griddle with non-stick spray, and put the sandwiches on the griddle. You can easily do these in a non-stick skillet if you don't have a griddle.

Side one is cooking

Let the sandwiches grill until nicely browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Press down firmly on each side with a spatula so it will brown evenly.

Turn down the heat a bit and let the sandwiches sit on the griddle until they are heated through and the cheese is nicely melted.

Transfer the sandwiches to a plate, slice in half, and serve.

We ate our Sorta Muffalettas with some Imagine Kitchens organic soup.

Yum, Yum :D

I am so grateful for all the new friends I've made since I started my blog a few weeks ago, and really appreciate all the kindness and encouragement I've received. Donna of My Tasty Treasures was kind enough to give me an award: The Sisterhood Award!

I am so excited! Thanks to Donna for her thoughtfulness! This award means a lot to me. So if you haven't had a chance to check out Donna's fabulous blog, I hope you will.

Now, I'm supposed to pass this award along. In fact, I'm gonna copy the guidelines on what I'm supposed to do from Donna's blog right here:
  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 people who you think show great attitude and/or gratitude
  3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Let them know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person who has nominated you for the award.
I'm going to pass the baton to:

Donna at MyTastyTreasures, who so graciously shared this award with me :)
Grace of A Southern Grace
Nuria at Spanish Cooking
Gloria Chadwick, my cookbook class teacher
My dear friend Marie, at Croall Under the Bridge
Marilyn, at My Cuban Traumas
Joan Nova, at Foodalogue
Chef T, my cookbook writing pal, at ChefBliss
Laura at OrgJunkie
Bren at Bren's Flanboyant Eats

And finally, I'd like to give 2 SPECIAL AWARDS to my incredible pan pal, Nathan, of La Cocina de Nathan, who has taught me so much and who inspires me every day! (After all, I can't really give him a "sisterhood" award, now, can I??)

First, the Foodie Friend Award

from Gloria's lovely blog. Thanks for being such a great friend, Nathan!

AND the I Loved Your Recipe Award from RecipeBliss. I love all of Nathan's recipes!

Thanks to everyone on my list for your encouragement and friendship!


  1. Your sandwiches look amazing! I haven't tried framani meats yet, but I've heard such good things about them.

  2. I love your "Sorta Muffaletta" sandwiches. They look awesome! What a great idea to coat them in an egg mixture instead of butter, "sorta" French toasty style. :)
    You're so sweet to give me the Sisterhood Award. :) Yours was the first comment I read this morning, and you've made my whole day! Thanks so much.

  3. Wow that is quite the sandwich!! Thanks so much for the award, you are too sweet :)

    Hope you are having a great weekend!!


  4. aw, thanks karen! what an honor to receive such an award on the same post as this phenomenal sandwich. it's delectable in 100 different ways. :)

  5. what a momma sandwich!! thanks so much for the award... hmmm.... can't wait to get your I Made Your Recipe... :)

  6. Thanks, Karen. One can never have too many awards!! Sandwich sounds terrific. Your blog is looking so good.

  7. Sara-- Hi, and welcome to DomesticMuse! Thanks for stopping by! The Fra' Mani salumi are just so good! I hope you'll get to try them soon!

    Gloria-- I am so glad you stopped by! Thanks for all your kind words. Yes, the "french toast" trick is one of my favorites. You can make these sandwiches with any filling you like, of course: turkey, brie, walnuts and apples, ham with mango chutney and robusto cheese, good ol' Velveeta, bacon and tomato! I was really thrilled to be able to share this award with so many wonderful people!

    Laura-- welcome to DomesticMuse! These ARE a meal in themselves, and quick and easy! I really love your site, and need to post my menu for this week!

    Grace-- thank you so much for your compliments! It was my pleasure to share the award with you, your site is so fun and fab! If you try the sandwiches, let me know how you like them.

    Hi, Bren-- thanks for stopping by again! I have been enjoying looking at your blog. Yep, these are the mother of all sandwiches, LOL! I can't wait to try your recipes! :)

    Donna-- thanks again :) I really appreciate all your advice! :)

  8. Muchas Gracias Karen for passing the award over to me :D, that's so sweet!!!! You do deserve them all, working so hard in your blog and always having a kind word. Thanks so much darling, but I'd be even more grateful if I could have a couple of those fantastic sandwiches ;D


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