Muffulettas – it’s a big word for a mighty sandwich, but because this week was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, I thought it would be a fun post to talk about one of my favorite sandwiches. Even though we don’t go crazy with Mardi Gras celebrations around here, it was fun to make these mini muffulettas for dinner.
Muffuletta sandwiches have layers of Italian meat, cheese and olive salad all on a sesame style bun. The sandwich was born in New Orleans at Central Grocery and Deli by a Sicilian immigrant named Salvatore Lupo. You can find all kinds of muffulettas across the city of New Orleans, but these mini versions are my spin-off of this delicious creation.
Why mini? Well… it’s a lot to layer into a mouthful, but I think they are more fun to serve this way for parties. You can also pack all of the ingredients into a cooler and take them to a picnic. You can usually find slider style buns in the grocery store or I've also provided the recipe that I use to make sesame-crusted mini ciabatta buns.
Packing tip: Parchment paper wraps or food picks can be useful to help keep everything together.
To make the sandwiches you'll need:
-Sesame style slider buns (buy at the store or see recipe below)
-Soppressata salami, sliced thin*
-Ham* (this week I opted for a rosemary ham that was delicious, but mortadella is traditionally served on a muffuletta)
-Genoa Salami, sliced thin*
*At the deli counter, I recommend ordering 1/4 lb of each meat/cheese. This will serve up to 4 people. Order 1/2 lb if you are making sandwiches for a larger crowd.
-Red onion, thinly sliced
-Roasted red peppers
Directions: Toast the sesame buns and then brush lightly with olive oil. Spread approx. 1 tablespoon of olive tapenade on each side. Layer on the soppressata, ham, salami and cheese. Garnish with optional additions. Arugula leaves are a must for me!
Recipe for sesame-crusted mini ciabatta buns
-4 1/2 cups (18 oz.) all-purpose flour
-1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
-1 1/2 cups (12 oz.) lukewarm water
-2 tablespoons (1 oz.) olive oil
-1 teaspoon of salt
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, yeast, water, olive oil and salt and knead for approx. 5 minutes. Dough should be fairly wet. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 4 hours). Shape the dough into 6 small buns. Sprinkle each with sesame seeds. Bake until light golden brown at 375° F 15-20 minutes.
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