Archive | February 5th, 2010

Griffin to Go: For Super Bowl, It’s a Battle of Two Cities, Two Sandwiches

Griffin to Go: For Super Bowl, It’s a Battle of Two Cities, Two Sandwiches

To the football fanatic, there is no greater day than Super Bowl Sunday. For Super Bowl 44, the two teams vying for the championship, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, are busy working on their strategies, their plays, their strengths and their weakness.

The rest of us are busy working on the food we plan to consume on this festive occasion.

But what will that be? Sandwiches have long been a favorite, whether the coach in charge of the food offensive prefers to serve up a table-long sub sandwich or a series of sliders. Before you place your bets, however, consider the two sandwiches, listed alphabetically by hometown, that fans from each of the home teams will likely be serving their guests.

Indianapolis Colts: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Which Wich Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Take a pork cutlet, pound it until it’s broad and flat, bread it and fry it. It’s as simple as that. Yet a good pork tenderloin sandwich has a hold on anyone who ever tried one at any of the countless drive-ins that dot the Midwest. There’s something about the hot, slightly greasy patty and the cool mayonnaise on the toasted white bun that has made it a perennial favorite with millions.

Fan testimonial from Chuck Lundquist, formerly of the Midwest and now of San Antonio:

I’m a fan of the Colts …  and I’m certainly a fan of the pork tenderloin sandwich.

When I was in college, a small drive-in diner called Porky’s was on University Avenue in Des Moines (I went to Grand View College , a Lutheran junior college for two years before transferring to the University of Iowa).  They had a great big pork loin sandwich that just hung over the outside of the bun.  Pork is fairly inexpensive up north, and we always had big pork (and chicken) family meals.  On Sunday night when the dining hall was closed, Porky’s was the place to go.  We would have that big sandwich, soda and shake and walk around and talk to the ladies who had driven in.  Lots of fun on a Sunday evening.

That big sandwich would stay with you.  Plenty of meat and always tender and moist.  Over the years, the pork tenderloin has become too packaged with too much breading.  There is still a Porky’s in Des Moines, and I still like to eat there, but the sandwiches aren’t quite the same.

For a recipe to make your own pork tenderloin sandwiches, click here.

If you want to buy a pork tenderloin sandwich in San Antonio: Check out Which Wich, with two area locations: 11224 Huebner Road, (210) 561-WICH (9424); and 10730 Potranco Road, (210) 682-WICH (9424), or click here.

New Orleans Saints: Muffalletta

Murphy's Deli "The Muffaletta"

New Orleans’ version of the pressed sandwich is the muffuletta with its blend of cheeses melted into Italian meats and the salty, tangy appeal of olive salad. The sandwich dates back to 1906 and is still served today.

Fan testimonial from Sandy White, who grew up in the Big Easy and now lives in San Antonio:

Growing up in New Orleans I remember the times we would go down to Central Grocery for a muffuletta sandwich.  We would always go in multiples of either 2 or 4 as one of Central Grocery’s creations had to be shared, the final number determined by the level of hunger.  Since there was no table service, one would approach the counter to get the sandwich and proceed outdoors to find a suitable place to consume the masterpiece.

For those not familiar, the muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich —A large, round Italian sandwich loaf, sliced in half like a English muffin, is piled high with Italian delicacies such as mortadella, capicola and salami, layered with provolone and Swiss cheeses.  What really sets the muffuletta apart from your garden-variety lunch-meat sandwich, however, is the generous helping of rich, tangy olive salad that serves as the only condiment.  The olive oil moistens the bread while the olives, garlic, peppers, and giardiniera add texture and spice to the meats and cheeses.  For a real treat, build the sandwich, wrap in foil and heat it in the oven until the cheese has melted, then add the olive salad and enjoy the finest sandwich you ever tasted.

Geaux, Saints, Geaux!

If you want to make your own muffuletta, click here. Central Market, 4821 Broadway, has the round Italian bread needed, while many supermarkets carry the olive salad.

If you want to buy muffulettas, check out Murphy’s Deli with three area locations: 300 Convent St., (210) 212-8833; 116-123 E. Houston St., (210) 299-2600; and 7702 Floyd Curl Drive, (210) 692-9852. Or click here.

(Pork Tenderloin image provided by Which Wich, Inc.)

(Muffaletta image provided by Murphy’s Deli)

(NFL Team helmet images provided by the NFL)

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Make Your Own Muffuletta

Make Your Own Muffuletta

Murphy's Deli "The Muffaletta"

The muffuletta was created at New Orleans’ Central Grocery in 1906 by Italian expatriates. The sandwich can still be ordered there today.


1 (15-ounce) loaf Italian bread, preferably seeded and round (about 12 inches in diameter)
1 1/2 cups olive salad, or more, to taste (store-bought or homemade)
3 tablespoons oil from olive salad, or more, to taste
3 ounces capicola ham, thinly sliced
3 ounces Genoa salami, thinly sliced
3 ounces mortadella, thinly sliced
3 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced
3 ounces Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Halve loaf of bread lengthwise. Spoon olive salad on one side. Spread out olives, breaking them into pieces with your hands, and gently push into bread. Coat other side of bread with oil.

Layer olive-salad-laden side of bread with overlapping slices of ham, salami, mortadella, provolone, and Swiss. Top with oil-coated side. Cut loaf into four wedges; serve with Zapp’s Cajun Crawtator potato chips and Abita bottled root beer.

Adapted from

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Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Which Wich Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

The fried pork tenderloin sandwich, a cousin of the chicken-fried steak, is popular in Indianapolis and throughout the Midwest. It’s a year-round favorite, served not just at Super Bowl parties.

Fried Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

4 pork cutlets
3 beaten egg
6 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
4 Kaiser buns, grilled

For inside the bun:
Mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard
Sliced tomato
Sliced onion

Place cutlets between plastic wrap and flatten until thin. Warning, these can get as big as an 8-10 inch skillet

Beat together eggs and milk, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, marjoram, oregano, salt and pepper pour into a shallow bowl.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. While oil is heating, dip cutlets in egg mixture, then coat with the bread crumb mixture. Place the coated cutlets into the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides.

Lay on a paper towel to absorb the grease. Put on a bun; add all your choice of lettuce, tomato, onion, Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and pickle.

Grill inside of buns.

Makes 4 sandwiches.


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Quiz Tests Your AQ (Avocado Quotient)

Quiz Tests Your AQ (Avocado Quotient)

Avocados will be in their glory this Sunday as the Super Bowl meets the Guacamole Bowl.  We looked up a few facts and made up some more to test your knowledge about this vegetable.

1. Is it true that the avocado is a vegetable?

a. Yes
b. No

1a.  If you answered “No” to question No. 1, what exactly is an avocado?

a. It is a fruit.
b. It is a grain.
c. It is a reptile.

2. Everyone knows that millions of pounds of avocados are eaten in the United States on Super Bowl Sunday. About how many million pounds?

a. 2 million
b. 16 million
c. 8 million

3. California grows a number of different varieties of avocados, but the best known and widest selling one is which?

a. The Hass avocado
b. The Haas avocado
c. The Hsaa avocado
d. The Hoss avocado

4.  If you gathered all the guacamole made and consumed at Super Bowl parties the nation over, and spread it 20 feet thick to cover a football field, how long would that guacamole smear stretch?

a.  200 miles
b. To the moon
c. It is wrong to spread guacamole on a football field.
d. 100 yards

5.  In California, growers and plant geneticists are always experimenting on new and improved avocados.  It is estimated that in just 2 years they will have a tree that produces avocados that are pointy on both ends, to resemble a football.

a. True
b. False

6. In the United States, which day of these festive days is responsible for the most sales of avocados?

a.  St. Swithin’s Day
b. Cinco de Mayo
c. Noche de los Rabanos
d. Super Bowl Sunday

7.  If you answered “c” on the previous question, Noche de los Rabanos, you may skip the rest of this quiz. Go eat a Twinkie.

8.  How can you tell when an avocado is ripe and ready to eat?

a. When the stem tip at the pointy end pops up, like on a turkey.
b. When the flesh surrounding the stem tip becomes soft.
c. When the flesh gives a little when you press the sides of the avocado in  your hand.

9. Why are avocados so expensive?

a.  They’re not.
b. They don’t last long.
c. I don’t know.
d. All of the above

10. Why do some people put avocado pits in their guacamole?

a.  Pits keep the green from turning brown.
b. They think pits  keep the green from turning brown.
c. They think pits keep the green from turning brown and they look pretty, too.

11.  The main ingredients in a good guacamole always include this one.

a. Cottage cheese
b. Alfalfa sprouts
c. Miracle Whip
d. Vegemite
e. None of the above

12. What cooking oil has the highest smoke point (temperature when it begins to burn)?

a. olive oil
b. avocado oil
c. grapeseed oil

Answers:   1. b; 2. a; 3. c; 4. a; 5. d; 6. b; 7. n/a; 8. c; 9. d; 10. b; 11. e; 12. b.

For the recipe for Bonnie’s Guacamole, click here.

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Olive Salad Adds Tang to Muffulettas

Olive Salad Adds Tang to Muffulettas

This recipe makes enough olive salad for eight muffuletta sandwiches. It originally appeared in Food  & Wine magazine and comes from Emeril Lagasse, by way of Sandy White, who grew up in New Orleans and now lives in San Antonio. “To be honest, ever since I found this recipe, I make my own and I think the final product is much better than any of the versions available,” she says.

Olive Salad

5 ounces (1 cup) pimento-stuffed olives, sliced, plus 2 tablespoons of liquid from the jar
6 ounces (1 cup) giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables) chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of liquid from the jar
2 tablespoons capers, drained, plus 2 teaspoons of liquid from jar
3 ounces Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (see note)
2 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley or fresh
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of dried red pepper
½ cup olive oil

Mix the olives, giardiniera, capers, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, thyme, red pepper and olive oil, and allow to set for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.  This salad will keep for a very long time in the refrigerator.

Note: You want to slice/chop the olives and vegetables to a size where they will stay on the sandwich, but not so fine that you lose the texture.  You want to rinse off the Kalamata olives in order to minimize transfer of black to the cauliflower in the vegetable mix.

From Sandy White/Emeril Lagasse/Food & Wine

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Holy Guacamole: It’s Simply Good

Holy Guacamole: It’s Simply Good

One of our perennial complaints about guacamole in San Antonio restaurants is that it is frequently no more than mashed avocado. This isn’t so bad when it’s really fresh, ripe avocado. You can add a little salsa, salt and lemon from your iced tea and get by. But the gooey olive green-turning-to-brown stuff is really bad.

The basis for a good guacamole is the fruit, of course; just at the best stage or ripeness, where it has a bit of firmness but easily mashes with a fork. Too soft, and the fresh taste leaves and (to me) a strange bacon-y taste takes over.  After the avocado, I like garlic, lemon or lime juice, salt, chopped cilantro, minced serrano, onion juice or sliced green onions, a dash of olive oil and a little Tabasco.

Olive oil? You might think adding evoo to guac is bringing coals to Newcastle. But olive oil is also monounsaturated, as is avocado oil, so it’s not unhealthy, particularly, and just adds a little more fat.  I like the flavor it adds — extra fruitiness and acid, and I also think it does something nice to the texture. It has been, in fact, my (no longer) secret ingredient.

Bonnie’s Guacamole

1 medium clove garlic, mashed and minced
2 large avocados, peeled and pitted
Juice from half a lemon or a whole smaller lime, watch for seeds
1 teaspoon onion juice (see note) OR 2 tablespoons minced green onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon minced serrano chile, or to taste
Salt, to taste

Rub half the minced garlic around a plate-sized shallow bowl. Put the peeled and pitted avocados in the bowl and mash with a fork until it’s mixed, but leaving it at a rough texture. Add the rest of the garlic, the lemon or lime juice, onion juice (see note below) or minced green onion, cilantro, olive oil, red wine vinegar, Tabasco and serrano chiles. Gently stir in the ingredients, taste for salt and add as much as you like.

Note: For onion juice, slice an onion in half. Then, hold the sharp blade of a French knife at an angle, at the top of one half on the cut side, and push it down over the raw onion so that juice and a little pulp flow out. I especially like to do this if the guacamole needs to keep for a day, or overnight. Diced raw onion gets soggy.

Also: Putting pits in the guacamole doesn’t keep it from turning brown. But the lemon juice and vinegar help, as does putting a length of plastic wrap over the top of the bowl, bringing it down to touch the surface of the guacamole. Air causes the oxidation that turns the green to brown.

Makes 2-2 1/2 cups guacamole.

From Bonnie Walker

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