Sunday, June 3, 2012

I love Italian food

I always go back to my comfort zone.  When I was in Atlanta, I found a wonderful  trattoria that had an unbelievable Muffaletta on the menu.  They also had the best Amaretti cookies on this side of the Northern Hemisphere, but that is a story for another day.

The cooks put the Muffaletta together in (and I mean that literally) a large round loaf of Italian bread.  The "lid" was cut off and the dough scooped out of the bottom leaving about a 1" thick wall all around, and from there the magic happened.  Imported sharp provolone on the bottom and then the Italian meat stack began, interspersed with imported cheese, housemade olive tapanade, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and topped with a layer of provolone.  The lid was returned to its place of honor and the whole thing put in the wood-fired oven until the bread was crisp.  It was pulled out, sliced, and drizzled with really fruitie olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

You had better been hungry...or had lots of people with you.

I am making one today.  Except I will leave room at the top for the tapanade, onions, and roasted reds to be added later so that Army can take slices for lunch during the week, and I can bring some to my anonymous Sundays Off kitchen taster.

Most of the meats, imported provolone, olives, some Parmigiana Reggiano, hot sopresseta and rock solid bread knots at Napoli's Italian Bakery in Utica.  And then, because I cannot resist, I had to grab some Italian pastries for dessert.  These came from Cafe CaNole in New Hartford  They have two restaurants as well, Ancora down by the Stanley and the cafe, attached to the bakery.  I will take construction pictures during the day today and post them on Facebook and then a picture of the final.  It will be a beautiful thing.

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