Sunday, August 5, 2018

Italian-Style Hero Sandwiches

The Hero on an Olive Ciabatta loaf

Recently on our occasional Vintage Cookbook TBT feature I profiled 1984's The Sandwich Cookbook. In among the book's many recipes (some better than others) was one for a rather pedestrian version of a Hero Sandwich.

A Hero Sandwich is an Italian style multi-layered meat sub. There are, of course, many variations of it, but most use Italian style cold cuts and cheese, a special sauce and minced pepperoncini peppers.

My take on the Hero incorporates many of these elements though I sometimes like chopped olives in place of (or with) the peppers and sometimes I like to use a homemade anchovy paste in place of the sauce.

Today I am going to do a Hero with instructions on how to make either the sauce or the anchovy paste.

To begin you need to get sub sized or longer loaves of Italian style bread. I used a ciabatta loaf. One nice variation you can do is to use an olive ciabatta loaf. 

Cut your loaves lengthwise down the middle. Place a layer of each of the following, all thinly sliced:

Provolone cheese
Hot Italian salami
capocollo or ham

On the one side the meats...on the other the anchovy paste

Meanwhile slice up some tomatoes and drizzle some olive oil over them. Season them with some coarse sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Place these atop the meat and top these with either minced pepperoncini peppers or chopped olives (or both).

On the other side of the bread either drizzle with the Hero sauce or spread with the anchovy paste.

You make Hero sauce by mixing the following in a bowl:

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
coarse sea slat to taste

This will make enough sauce for several sandwiches. If you have some left over it will keep in fridge for 3 or 4 days.

You can buy anchovy paste at most large grocers but it is also easy to make. Simply take a can of anchovy fillets in oil, empty them into a bowl and gently mash them while adding a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Use more or less depending on the consistency you like. As you are mashing sprinkle in some red chili pepper flakes as well. 

Once you have drizzled the sauce or spread the paste on the top half, top with roman lettuce leaves and a couple of fresh basil leaves. You can also add minced red onion if you like.

These delicious sandwiches go perfectly with summer, friends, patios and cold beer or an Italian red.


See also: Olive Tapenade Spread with an Italian-Style Sandwich

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