We had a grand time at my folk’s house at Smith Mountain Lake this past weekend. My Dad took the kids sailing on the Mirror Dinghy, they fished, swam and played, and we went to my girlfriend’s parents home for lunch and rides on the Sea-Doo. Those Sea-Doo’s are a blast! My Dad said it was an expensive day because he had to go home and get him one. I relaxed a lot. Nice huh? Mom prepared some easy and kid friendly meals and was ready with a ton of snacks for hungry, water-logged kids. I did manage to make one thing. I had boating on the brain, so I thought to make one of My Big Fat Italian Sandwiches that reminds me of a boat. My cousin Maryanne brought this sandwich to a cookout once and it was gone in minutes. It is a fancy Italian Sub all dressed up for parties. The Giardiniera Mix makes it extra special.
My Big Fat Italian Sandwich
16 oz jar Giardiniera Mix*, drained
4 ounces cream cheese
6 oz sliced provolone cheese
3 oz sliced Capicola
4 oz sliced Mortadella
3 oz sliced salami
1-2 Roma tomatoes sliced, seeds removed
3-4 Romaine leaves, torn
sliced Vidalia onion
one pound loaf soft Italian Bread
In a food processor, process Giardiniera Mix and cream cheese until well blended, put aside. Using a serrated knife cut out center of loaf, careful not to cut through bottom or edges, be sure to keep the cut out piece whole, you will use that to top the sandwich. See picture upper right. Click to enlarge. Starting with cheese, layer in bottom of “boat”. Then layer capicola, mortadella, and salami. Be sure that the meats go up the sides of the “boat”. This will help hold the filling. Spread the entire amount of giardiniera mix over meat then top with onion rings, sliced tomatoes, and lettuce. Now take the piece you cut out of the bread and trim it so that there is only a one inch thick piece, so it will be the crust and one inch of the inner bread. Carefully place that on top of the sandwich pressing down firmly on the entire loaf. Wrap very tightly in foil and chill up to 12 hours. To serve slice into 1 1/2 inch thick slices. Serves 4-6.
* Giardiniera Mix is found in the Italian section of your grocery store or in the pickle section. It is a mix of peppers, carrots, pickles, and cauliflower.