Friday, April 30, 2010
The "Maine Italian Sandwich" the yummiest sub you will ever eat...
Okay, okay, seriously I'm majorly biased. I grew up in Maine. When you'd go down and order an "Italian" you didn't get a sub sandwich with three meats on it (traditional is ham, salami and pepperoni I came to find out later) and slathered in italian dressing. Nooooooooo. You'd get a concoction that, I came to find out later in life, was completely regional. Which totally SUCKED! I mean when you grow up with a sandwich you love and then find you can't get it anywhere else in the country??? That is a serious serious downer on your life. I've managed to recreate "The Italian" (as we called it) to a point (although I have YET to get a good recipe for the rolls...you can get close, but until you get the fresh Italian soft roll down...it's never quite 100% right). So, how does this recipe go? Okay you will need...
Italian Soft Rolls (The long french bread at Fred Meyer or elsewhere can be cut up into about 3 Italians and makes an okay roll for it :)
American Cheese (I always go with the yellow because that's what we always ordered, although the white doesn't taste bad either :)
Sliced Green Bell Pepper
Tomato (I like Roma's for the job because they seed so easy and still have a lot of meat) seeded and sliced.
Black Olives, sliced
Pickles (sour pickles, no bread and butter allowed!)
Extra Virgin olive oil (between that and the Italian rolls...thus the "Italian" gets its name...funny huh?)
Freshly ground black pepper
Wax paper (unless you want to see all your fillings fall to the floor)
Take the Italian roll and split it down the center like you would a hotdog bun (hollow out a little bread on each side in a sort of "canoe manuever"). Place your ham slices along the middle fold of the sandwich (you want coverage on each side of the seam). Then place your cheese slices on top of the ham. Put a line of onion down the exact center of your sandwich (yes this is important because you are going to squish and wrap this sucker :). I always follow up with the black olives right on top of the onion and then place the green pepper, tomato (don't go overboard or it'll overpower the sandwich) and pickles on the very top. Sprinkle liberally with olive oil, put a sprinkle of salt and pepper on top. Place the sandwich on waxed paper (enough so that you'll be able to wrap it up a like a burrito) and squish it closed and then wrap tightly in waxed paper. Yes, to get full "flavor" out of the sandwich you can leave it wrapped up for about 10 minutes before eating, but we never did :). Cut the sandwich in half, unwrap as you eat and enjoy. Goes GREAT with an ice cold Coke.
My husband does his version with the traditional three italian meats and provalone cheese and says that it still tastes great (the barbarian ;). I like the traditional recipe myself. My husband truly doesn't get the love I have for this sandwich, although my mother-in-law, who's from Maine herself, totally does. So, it might just be a regional taste...I don't know *laugh*.
So, now that I'm starving for an Italian and have tons of housework to do, I'll leave you to your day/evening :). Enjoy!