cochon, donald link, muffuletta is an odd word, NOLA, still slightly foggy from yesterday, Who Dat Nation

NOLA Wins, Bitches!

Superbowl XLIV(44) has come and gone and the day after I am still shocked, elated and stuffed. Though I had big dreams, in what was going to be a NOLA-centric menu, work caught up with me and I only made one Louisianna food–though, to be honest, I did cheat and pick up some premade pralines from Whole Foods for our dessert.
The easiest thing I could come up with, using Donald Link’s Muffuletta recipe, was actually started three days prior when I made the Giardiniera–olive and veg relish–for the topping.

1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 small carrot, chopped into 1/8-inch pieces
1/2 small onion, chopped into 1/8-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/ 2 cup Pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Pepperoncini
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
5 teaspoons black peppercorns

Toast bay leaf and peppercorns. Combine vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, pepper flakes, and oregano in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add bay leaves and peppercorns. Steep 5 minutes.
Strain bay leaves and peppercorns. Reserve liquid. Place vegetables in a 1 gallon container. Pour liquid over vegetables and let sit for two days before using. Strain liquid and puree vegetables.

I used Salame Rosa instead of Mortadella and a large round Focaccia bread that a friend made. Truly, had I made the whole 12″ round into one massive sandwich–this one weighed 1 1/4lbs per slice–we wouldn’t have eaten anything else that night. Because my partner had requested wings, it gave me the opportunity to take this:

I took some Franks Red Hot, garlic and butter..Added 2Tbspn of:

tossed it over these:

And ate a full plate of this:

And my gf drank a glass of a Heffeweizen, whose name eludes me, but made for a pretty picture:

Way too much food…Way too much yelling..Way too much fucking fun. Whether or not the Saints can do the same next year will be determined in a few months but I don’t think I’ll be waiting that long to make another Muffuletta sandwich.