Central Grocery’s claim to fame
New Orleans boasts some of the best food in the country. That includes fancy gourmet restaurants, casual Cajun comfort, and famous street food. Who can visit without indulging a confectioner sugar covered beignet?
My favorite is the gigantic Muffuletta sandwich loaded with signature olive salad and piled high with pepperoni, salami, ham, Emmentaler and provolone. The sandwich originated at Central Grocery in the French Quarter of the city. Last time I was in New Orleans I shared a ‘too big for one person’ Muffuletta with a friend at this famous grocer. Highly recommended!
Muffuletta has Sicilian origins and was created to conveniently serve meats, cheeses and olive salad to the Sicilian workers. Rather than balancing separate containers of each item on their laps, the owner at Central Grocery decided it would be easier to serve all the ingredients on a large disk shaped roll. It wasn’t long before it was in high demand. The olive salad is mostly olives with a little celery, cauliflower and carrots. Marinated for 24 hours in a sauce of oregano, garlic, olive oil and vinegar, it provides seasoning and moisture.
This mini muffuletta has pepperoni slices with an olive spread providing the sauce. Easy to make, the vinegary green olives and spicy pepperoni make this small ‘knock off’ sandwich a gourmet treat. I like to place the thin slices of pepperoni slightly peeking out of the edge of the roll.
2011 AniversaRecipe – Apple Pudding with Sweet Cream Sauce
Recipe: Mini Muffulettas
Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 12 Servings | Level: Easy
- 1 8-ounce pkg Cream Cheese, softened
- 4 Tbsp Sour Cream
- 8 slices crisp Bacon, crumbled
- 4 dozen small Pimiento Stuffed Olives, chopped
- 4 tsp finely chopped Chives
- 24 thin slices Pepperoni
- 12 small round dinner Rolls, sliced on equator
- Giardiniera or Olive Salad
3 Spread olive mixture on one half of the each roll. Top with 2 slices of pepperoni.
4 Place the top of the roll over the pepperoni. Garnish with Giardiniera or olive salad.
Make a medium size muffuletta by using 6 Kaiser or sub rolls.
If the cream cheese is not soft, heat in the microwave in 10 second intervals until it is soft by not melted.
The olive salad in muffulettas is similar to Giardiniera salad, heavy on the olives.
Beignets are a New Orleans pastry much like a doughnut and covered in a pile of confectioner’s sugar.
Exchange stuffed for black olives. Exchange pepperoni for hard salami. Substitute chives for finely chopped scallions.
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: April 22, 2012