Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Favorite Sandwiches

I should have pictures for this but I don't. Sorry.

Here, in no particular order is my list of favorite sandwiches:

1. Onion bagel with cream cheese, spicy sprouts, and slices of fresh, homegrown tomato. (just had that which inspired this post)
2. American Club on wheat. Three slices of wheat bread layered thusly: bottom slice of bread, mayonnaise, turkey, swiss cheese slices, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonaise, middles slice of bread, mayonnaise, ham, American cheese* slices, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonaise, top slice of bread. The mayonnaise should be applied in a thin but substantial layer as this is a major flavor in the combination and it acts as the glue that holds it together. To serve you insert four long toothpicks at the mid point of each side, cut sandwich into quarters corner to corner, and arrange artfully with some potato chips and a couple of dill pickle wedges.
3. Blue cheese and fresh mint leaves on a French sandwich roll with a blue cheese mayonnaise. Key to this is having a fresh blue cheese and newly picked mint. If you don't have time to make the mayonnaise, it's not all that important though it adds a little zing to the flavor and more moistness. Great summer sandwich.
4. The first BLT of the summer.
5. Oyster poboy from Domelisi's [5240 Annunciation St. New Orleans, LA]. If you're in New Orleans and you don't go here (only open for lunch), you are missing a truly old school New Orleans institution, and some of the best food you'll ever put in you mouth. The last time I was there there were four generations of family women making the sandwiches from the pretty young girl taking the orders through to the grandma placing each oyster or shrimp carefully and perfectly so that there was a uniform layer on the bottom piece. The cutting board has a groove in it so deep that it bites into the framing underneath. Shrimp, oyster, or catfish, it will be one of the best sandwiches you'll ever bring to your lips. Smother that puppy in Tabasco, get an ice cold Dixie, and sit and soak in the lively, loose, and openly social noise of New Orleans as it takes a break.
6. Mufelata from Central Grocery in the French Quarter. Actually that should be a half of a mufelata. One of those things can easily feed four people. Here's a recipe:

New Orleanian cook and cookbook author Chiqui Collier was kind enough to share this recipe with me for this site, and says, "It is my pleasure to send you the recipe for the original muffletta sandwich that was created by the grandfather of a lady i worked with 28 years ago." (Presumably that was Signor Salvadore.)

"The recipe for the olive salad is the exact way it was given to me. It makes over a gallon, but since your comments indicate that you love it, i'm sure you won't want to cut it down. It stores very well in the refrigerator for many months and makes great gifts along with the recipe for the sandwich. It does appear in my cookbook, "Cookery N'Orleans Style"

  • For the olive salad:
  • 1 gallon large pimento stuffed green olives, slightly crushed and well drained
  • 1 quart jar pickled cauliflower, drained and sliced
  • 2 small jars capers, drained
  • 1 whole stalk celery, sliced diagonally
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 small jar celery seeds
  • 1 small jar oregano
  • 1 large head fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jar pepperoncini, drained (small salad peppers) left whole
  • 1 pound large Greek black olives
  • 1 jar cocktail onions, drained
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and mix well. Place in a large jar and cover with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 Crisco oil. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Allow to marinate for at least 24 hours before using.

  • For the sandwich:
  • 1 round loaf italian bread
  • 1/4 pound mortadella, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound ham, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound hard Genoa salami, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 pound Provolone cheese,sliced
  • 1 cup olive salad with oil
Split a muffuletta loaf or a loaf of Italian bread horizontally. Spread each half with equal parts of olive salad and oil. Place meats and cheeses evenly on bottom half and cover with top half of bread. Cut in quarters. Enjoy!

Serves four timid dieters, two hearty New Orleanians or one incredible maiale.

*provolone is a good substitute.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Morph Begins


Richie Havens

I did sound for Richie Havens once. Meaning I set up a p.a. with two mics for him in a record store. But I met him before and was there at the mixer through the set. He was amazing. So kind, just glowing from within... he is one of those people that you can see is special and that you feel is looking into you when he speaks to you.

Anyway, a girl who worked at the store part time also taught second grade in the French Quarter and had brought her class to see Richie Havens play. He played his whole show directly to the children, only occasionally glancing at the adults with a smile. It was utterly magical to watch this man hold these children spellbound for an entire set. His set had nothing to do with his last album or what he had rehearsed with a band, he was simply making those children dance and watch him and loving it and them and everything.