Thursday, August 3, 2017

Per Se - the Muffaletta

Per se = a thing in and of itself.  Muffaletta = a type of Sicilian bread made into a specific sandwich, i.e., the muffaletta and it is peculiar to New Orleans.

It is also a collection of most of the Italian deli meats slapped on a sesame bun about the size of a dinner plate.   The special dressing for the muffaletta is no slouch either.  It's called "olive salad" with no lettuce involved so ... why "salad"? 

Here's a list of the ingredients and you could easily make it at home if you didn't have anything pressing to do for about an hour ...

black and green olives, pickled artichoke hearts with juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, celery seed, oregano, basil and black pepper.  Combine and coarsely chop either by knife or Cuisinart.

Calabrise salami, sopressata, dry salami, coppa salume, aged Provolone, pickled vegetables, all slapped on a pressed sesame Kaiser roll. 

Richie and I ate our first muffaletta at the Central Grocery in the Old Quarter, New Orleans.  Before our trip to New Orleans, we'd read up on what to eat - what you will see is never as important to the average vacationer as what there is to eat - you can see the notables on your way to the restaurant or, in this case, Central Grocery.

Why am I blathering along about this?  Yesterday we had lunch with "D" and Mouton at Tower 12, Hermosa Beach, and guess what was on the menu and guess who ordered one? 

It was a smaller bun than Central Grocery's but theirs is so humongous that a whole one is only ordered if you are feeding the multitudes.  A whole one at Central Grocery is $14.50 and a half is $7.50 which compared to $15 for one on a bun that could double for a hamburger at Tower 12 is a bargain.   Still there is the air fare to NO and the hotel and other meals ... Tower 12 is a lot closer, as it is located on the Pier, Hermosa Beach. 

It's an interesting restaurant layout - they've utilized the outdoor walkways for dining with tall tables and chairs that overlook the Plaza.  Yesterday (Wed.) was the Farmer's Market and we dined in time to watch the vendors setting up.  Frankly, our conversation was more interesting once they got through with the Dodger chit chat.  All three of the men are ardent Dodger fans and I hate baseball.  So I played with the smart phone.  I am easily amused. 

I could only manage half of my muffaletta and I wanted to save space for dessert which was one of my all-time favorites - Sticky Toffee Pudding.  Tower 12 serves theirs with a massive scoop of soft ice cream, laced with caramel syrup over a rather dry round of date cake.  $7 and a big enough portion to share with the guys.  They, however, were content with a bite apiece.  Apparently "sweet" does not go down well with beer. 

And, as usual, our bar bill was bigger than the food bill.  But that was okay!  Mouton only has a birthday once a year.  And he won't be thirsting for another until somewhere in the middle of November if my calculations are right. 

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