Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vegan Muffuletta Sandwich

The verdict is in! I enjoy the Academy Awards much more when I have seen the majority of movies (Seth McFarland not withstanding, but that’s another story)! I know. It’s not like my discovery is rocket science—most everything is better when you’re clued into details and inside jokes. But, I was worried it would bother me when someone won who I didn’t think should. That didn’t really come to pass. I’m not sure I agreed with the academy every time, but none of the winners were too ridiculous.

I usually catch a couple of the best picture nominees before the awards, either in the theater or on DVD, but I haven’t seen all of them since, I’m embarrassed to admit, 1997. And, it was easier then with only five movies to see.

This year, I saw all nine best picture nominated movies, plus Flight and The Impossible to catch Denzel and Naomi. I missed The Master and Sessions, but I plan to rectify that as soon as possible.

Now to the burning question—what did I make for our Oscar party? I made a vegan Muffulatta Sandwich. Now, don’t scratch your head and wonder why you weren’t invited. Les and I had a party for two. My son was home as well, but he wasn’t interested in the awards ceremony. He did come out for some of the sandwich. He loves anything with olives! He was also excited Argo won, since he stayed up late to watch it the night before.

I wanted to make a muffulatta sandwich, because I’ve been fascinated by the them since I watched Emeril Lagasse make one on television year’s ago. Les and I gave up meat and dairy again this year for Lent, so as delicious as all the Italian cured meats look in the original sandwich, I knew I needed a different filling. Roasted vegetables filled the sandwich deliciously. Les loved this sandwich, and I’ve made it twice now. I think I like the vegetables better than the meat. The vegetables add a juicy, flavorful compliment to the salty, tart olive salad. This Vegan Muffulatta Sandwich, can be tricky to eat (be sure to eat over a plate or a napkin), but it is worth it, and when you exchange the cured meat for vegetables it is healthy too!

Vegan Muffuletta Sandwich 
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
Printable Recipe
1 cup sliced pimento-stuffed olives, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid from the jar
1 cup chopped giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables), plus 1 tablespoon of liquid from the jar
2 tablespoons drained chopped capers, plus 2 teaspoons of liquid from the jar
½ cup sliced Calamata olives
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 large round loaf of sourdough bread (I used a green olive loaf)

2 small Italian eggplants, sliced ½ inch thick
1 medium zucchini, sliced ½ inch thick
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and quartered
1 red onion, sliced ½ inch thick
½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, stir together the pimento-stuffed olives, giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids. Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, parsley, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the eggplant, zucchini, red onion and red pepper on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Bake until the vegetables are lightly browned and softened. The zucchini and eggplant take 10 to 15 minutes, and the onion and pepper take 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate when done, and let cool.

Slice the loaf of bread in half, and hollow out the top and the bottom slightly to allow for the olive salad. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread evenly. Place the red peppers on the top layer over the olive salad. Arrange the red onion, zucchini and eggplant on the olive salad on the bottom layer. Carefully close the sandwich. Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Cut the sandwich into wedges and serve.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Crabby Snacks

This year, I’m on a mission to see more than one film nominated for an Academy Award—before the awards ceremony preferably! As of today, I have only seen two of the nominated movies. I saw Les Miserable with my daughter before she went back to Montana, and I saw Silver Linings Playbook last Friday night with a couple of girlfriends.

I thoroughly enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook, but the end was a little too romantic comedy for me after all the drama of the first half of the film. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I am bit food obsessed, so in the movie when Delores (Jacki Weaver) implores her son Pat (Bradley Cooper) to stay and watch the Eagles game with his dad (Robert De Niro) by telling him she made crabby snacks and homemades, I sat in the theater (with a Junior Mint melting in my lap unfortunately), wondering what crabby snacks and homemades are.

Little did I know, I already had the answer (at least to what crabby snack are)! In fact, I’ve made crabby snacks and blogged about them here. The recipe I have refers to the cheesy crab snacks as Crab Corners, but they will now be known to me as Crabby Snacks! The Crabby Snacks were very popular at our Atomic 60’s party, and I have it on good authority they make a great Thanksgiving appetizer.

If you are having a themed Academy Awards party – something I’d like to do, if and when I see more than two nominated movies – Crabby Snacks would make a great addition to your buffet table. Oh, and homemades? That refers to homemade pasta.  

Crabby Snacks (formerly Crab Corners)
Printable Recipe

4 English muffins, split in half
1 6 ounce can crab, drained
1 jar Old English cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ cup butter
dash of Tabasco sauce

Mix together the crab, old English cheese, mayonnaise, garlic salt, butter and Tabasco sauce. Spread crab mixture on the English muffin halves. Place muffins on a sheet pan, and put the sheet pan in the freezer until the muffins are fully frozen, about 4 hours or overnight. Remove from the freeze and cut the muffin halves into quarters. Place muffin quarters in plastic freezer bags and back into the freezer until ready to bake.

To Bake: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place frozen crab corners onto a sheet pan, and bake for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown and bubbly.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Bowl Sunday

I’m going to post this quickly before I head off to the Super Bowl party I’m attending. I’ve shared a couple ideas for your Super Bowl party (Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars and Nacho Topped Chili), so I thought I would share what I’m actually taking to the party this year. My friend Elva handed me this recipe on Wednesday, so I didn’t have time to share it before now. I didn’t even have time to test the recipe before making it today, but if Elva says its good, I’m willing to trust her.

These Sweet Spicy Chicken Bites are really tasty, and they are the perfect nibble for a party. The bacon, brown sugar and spices mix together to taste almost like barbeque sauce. Elva suggests serving the chicken bites with ranch dip, so I’m going with the ranch dip too. Thanks Elva!

Sweet Spicy Chicken Bites 
Adapted from Paula Deen
Printable Recipe

1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 pound sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two cooling racks with nonstick cooking spray and set them into baking sheets.

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut bacon slices into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with a slice of bacon securing with a wooden toothpick. In a large plastic bag combine brown sugar, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Drop 4 to 5 wrapped chicken cubes into the bag and shake to coat the cubes completely. Place coated chicken cubes on the prepared racks. Repeat until all the chicken has been coated. Bake the chicken for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Serve warm with ranch dip.


Related Posts with Thumbnails