Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mortadella Sub with Garlic Peppers

     An Old Fashioned Italian Sub With Garlic Pepper Antipasti!
     Those who can remember the great local sub sandwiches from back in the 1960's will know what today's recipe is all about.  It seems like during the last few decades, sub sandwiches have turned into a rip-off item.  Much of this is due to national sub shop chain restaurants that only care about monopolization and bottom line profits.
     A skimpy portion of low quality national brand lunch meat on mediocre bread, simply is not what a good sub sandwich is all about!  If a modern chain restaurant sold a high dollar skimpy rip-off sub to a customer in a hard core working class city like Pittsburgh back in the 1960's, I guarantee that there would have been some heavy duty repercussions.  People really developed bad attitudes about getting ripped-off back in those days.  
     In these modern times, far too many people settle for second best and this is what keeps the rip-off national chain sub shops in business.  To get a real deal sub these days, consumers either have to find an old school Italian deli or make their own sub at home.    
     When making an Italian style sub in the home kitchen, it pays to set the quality standards high.  Settling for mass produced national brand lunch meats that are not that great is not the thing to do.  It is better to select top notch imported Italian deli meats or locally crafted Italian American deli goods.
     For today's sub recipe, the better the Mortadella, the better the sandwich will be.  It is easy to see the difference between mass produced national brand Mortadella and expertly crafted Italian Mortadella.  Most national brand Mortadella has a dull greasy looking sheen and the color of the meat is not bright pink.  Dull looks translate to dull flavor.  Italian Mortadella from a good delicatessen is noticeably better looking.  Italian deli clerks cut Mortadella into paper thin slices and each slice is separated with parchment paper to keep the slices from sticking together.  An Italian deli is where great Mortadella is prepared with expertise.

     Sautéed Italian Garlic Peppers are a popular antipasti.  Toscana Peppers are best for making garlic peppers.  If no Toscana Peppers are available, then Hungarian Wax Peppers are a good choice.  Both of those peppers are nearly identical.  Banana Peppers are also a good option.

     Garlic Peppers:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Resist the temptation to sauté the garlic and peppers at a high temperature.  Virgin olive oil has a very low smoking point.  
     Step 1:  Cut 5 whole Yellow Wax Peppers lengthwise from the middle of the pepper to the tip of the pepper.  (The peppers will still look whole.  Splitting the pepper tips open will allow steam to escape when they are cooked.)
     Set the peppers aside.    
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of pomace olive oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil.
     Add 5 whole garlic cloves.
     Add the yellow wax peppers.
     Gently sauté till a few golden highlights appear on the peppers and the garlic is golden brown.
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Season the garlic peppers with sea salt and black pepper.
     Keep the garlic peppers warm on a stove top.

     Mortadella Sub with Garlic Peppers:
     You can make a sub that is 5" long or 30' long!  The size of a sub is a matter of personal choice.  An 8" sub is a good lunch portion.  
     Step 1:  Split an 8" sub sandwich roll in half.
     Place a layer of mixed baby lettuce greens and baby arugula on the bottom half.
     Place a layer of thin sliced onion on the lettuce.
     Place a layer of thin sliced plum tomato on the onion.
     Step 2:  Sprinkle a little bit of each of these items on the top slice of bread and on the sub sandwich vegetable garnish:
     - virgin olive oil
     - white wine vinegar
     - sea salt and black pepper
     - oregano
     Step 3:  *Loosely folding thin sliced deli meats will build height and this increases eye appeal!
     Place 6 ounces of paper thin sliced imported Italian mortadella on top of the sandwich vegetables.
     Attach the top half of the sub sandwich bread with frill toothpicks or fancy bamboo skewers.
     Step 4:  Cut the mortadella sub in half and place it on a plate.
     Arrange the warm garlic peppers and garlic on the plate.
     Pour any excess oil from the sauté pan over the peppers.
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.

     Add a good Italian Provolone if you want cheese on this sub!  Provolone tastes great with Mortadella.  The quality of the Mortadella makes a big difference on a sub like this!

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