This is the hot, melted muffuletta like served at Napoleon House in the French Quarter inspired by George Graham here.
2 (10-inch) loaves round Italian bread with sesame seeds
4 cups jalapeno olive salad from Rouses
½ pound Genoa salami, thinly sliced
½ pound ham, thinly sliced
½ pound mortadella with pistachios, thinly sliced
½ pound provolone, thinly sliced
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Keys to the Perfect Muffuletta Sandwich
THE RIGHT BREAD – The bread is all-important to the integrity of this sandwich and should be a large, thick-crust, round loaf of Italian bread, preferably with sesame seeds. Find a good Italian bakery and you should be able to duplicate the muff bread that is common throughout Louisiana.
QUALITY OLIVE SALAD MIX – Good quality olive salad is crucial. If you live in Louisiana or have access to a good Italian grocer, you can find a jarred product called Muffuletta Olive Salad Mix – my favorite is Boscoli and you can order it online at Cajungrocer.com. Or you can make your own (see recipe) and allow it to marinate for a week or more.
MAKE AHEAD – Make these sandwiches at least two hours before you want to serve them since the longer they soak, the better. Slice the bread in half horizontally exposing the inside of both halves. Pour olive oil on the bottom bread half to soak generously. Add a thick layer of olive salad over the bottom bread half. Lay out the sliced salami evenly distributing the meat over the bottom bread, and then add a layer of half the provolone. Then, a layer of mortadella. Then, a layer of ham. Then, another layer of provolone. Add more of the olive salad on the top bread half and close it up.
COMPRESS THE SANDWICH – Compressing the sandwich to distribute the flavors will make a world of difference. Wrap the sandwich tightly in aluminum foil and weigh it down with the heaviest pot you have. To make it heavier add some canned goods inside the pot. Leave it and let it sit for two hours or longer.
HEAT THE SANDWICH – Turn up the heat. Set the burners of an outdoor gas grill to low. (Alternatively, you can use a 350-degree oven.) This is a major point of differentiation from the traditional muff. Here, you are going to melt the cheese, crisp the bread and add the smoky flavor from the grill. Place the foil-wrapped sandwiches on the hot grates, close the hood and leave for 15 minutes. Unwrap the top of the foil exposing the sandwich and heat for another 5 minutes with the hood closed. Keep warm until your guests are ready and then slice each muffuletta into quarters for serving. A Barq’s root beer (in the bottle, of course) or an ice-cold beer is the beverage of choice for the perfect muffuletta.