Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sandwich Saturday: Vlasic Cheeseburger

It's Sandwich Saturday. This week, from Vlasic, it's a delicious take on the cheeseburger with pickles and barbecue sauce on an onion bun.

Onion bun are soft, golden buns that feature a subtle spiral of dried onion, giving them incredible aroma and marvelous flavor.

It's said that it was the 11th Century when the Mongols carried flat patties of meat with them on long horseback trips. That was the beginning of the hamburger.

The first cheeseburger was created between 1924 and 1926 by a chef named Lionel Sternberger in Pasadena, California, USA. The anecdote goes along the lines of a passing homeless man who suggested Sternberger should add a slice of cheese to his hamburger order. Sternberger then added this to his main menu and the cheeseburger was born.

Cheeseburger Sandwich
Serves 6

1 1/4 pounds Ground Beef
3/4 cup Vlasic® Hot Banana Pepper Rings Chopped
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce Original Flavor
6 thin slices Cheddar Cheese
6 Onion Buns

Combine beef, peppers and cumin. Shape into six patties. Place patties on grill (medium heat for 10-12 min). Turn and brush often with barbecue sauce. Add cheese slices at the end until melted. Garnish.

* Source: Vlasic

Frank Vlasic moved to America in 1912 to build a better life for his family.

After saving every dime from his $2 a day car foundry job, Frank established a creamery business in Detroit. He eventually turned it over to his son, Joe who expanded the family milk and cheese business into selling Polish pickles spiced with garlic and dill. During World War II, his supply of pickles dried up, so Joe selling Polish pickles in glass jars. Smart move. Joe couldn’t keep up with demand, and the Vlasic Pickle brand was born!

In 1974, a wisecracking Vlasic Stork flew out of American television screens with the message that crunchy “Vlasic is the best tasting pickle I ever heard!”

Today, Vlasic is owned by Pinnacle Foods, which is committed to the principles of quality, taste, trust, and innovation established by the Vlasic family. The brand includes dozens of varieties of pickles, peppers, and relish in many cuts, flavors and sizes, as well as Homestyle Squeeze relish and Snack’mms.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook meals that get oohs and aahs from family and friends. Comment questions, requests and recipes. Share your ideas. Click here now to get the next recipe in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sweet and Savory Friday: Orange Ombre Cake and King Ranch Chicken

Sweet and savory food sometimes go together, sometimes they don't. Today, it's an ombre cake spread with creamy orange frosting after a savory King Ranch chicken casserole sit-at-the-table feast.

Sour cream is a staple in home and professional kitchens, kept on hand to make dips, sauces, to use as a condiment such as topping baked potatoes.

Sour cream is in the family with yogurt, cottage cheese and butter. The Food and Drug Administration sets standards for the butterfat content stating that it may not be less than 18 percent for products labeled as sour cream.

Savory King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Serves 16

1 packet dry ranch dip mix
1/2 cup Daisy Sour Cream
1 cup chicken stock
12 6-inch yellow corn tortillas
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
10 ounce can green chilies, undrained
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Mix the dip mix and sour cream in medium bowl. Whisk in the chicken stock. Pour 1/2 cup of the sour cream mixture in the bottom of the baking dish. Layer 4 tortillas over the sauce in the dish, overlapping. Top the tortillas with 1/2 of the chicken.

Spoon 1/3 of the tomatoes with the green chilies over the chicken. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the layers and top with the remaining tortillas, tomatoes and green chilies.

Pour the remaining sour cream mixture over the top of the casserole. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted and browned. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.

Difference between sweet and savory is that one reflects a sugar sensation and the other does not. A salad is savory, but it could include sweet slices of strawberries or a sweet salad dressing, which makes the salad both sweet and savory. For the home kitchen cook, you want to include a little sweet with savory flavors in the meal to satisfy the tastebud senses. That usually means dessert.

Ombré originates from the Spanish word, "man." Card players would declare, o soy el hombre, "I am the man." I have no thought as to how that translates to a cake. It's interesting how names come to be, isn't it?

In fashion, the term ombré refers to the graduation of color in a garment. A green ombré dress may be deep green at the shoulder, but gets progressively pale green by the time the color of the fabirc reaches the hem.

No doubt, the eye-catching trend of "ombré" has spread from fashion to desserts.

Ombré cakes are unique cakes focused on graduating color from light to dark. It could be just the way the color of the outside frosting graduates, but the cake layers can also be treated with varying gradient colors. The finished cakes can appear just plain gorgeous or fun and amusing.

In this ombré cake, the cake layers as well as the frosting are tinted in gradations of orange. It's a perfect cake for all sorts of celebrations.

Sweet Orange Ombre Cake
Serves 16

For Cake:
1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Orange Extract
McCormick® Yellow Food Color
McCormick® Red Food Color

For Frosting:
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
2 boxes (16 ounces each) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, using whole eggs. Stir in extracts. Divide batter evenly into 3 medium bowls. Stir 24 drops (about 1/4 teaspoon) yellow food color and 12 drops red food color into first bowl, tinting batter dark orange. Stir 10 drops yellow food color and 4 drops red food color into second bowl, tinting batter medium orange. Stir 5 drops yellow food color and 1 drop red food color into third bowl, tinting batter light orange.

Pour each bowl of batter into separate greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake as directed on package. Cool cakes on wire rack.

For the Frosting, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Place dark orange cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with medium orange cake layer. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with light orange cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, divide remaining frosting into 3 small bowls. Stir 12 drops yellow food color and 6 drops red food color into first bowl, tinting frosting dark orange. Stir 6 drops yellow food color and 3 drops red food color into second bowl, tinting frosting medium orange. Stir 3 drops yellow food color and 1 drop red food color into third bowl, tinting frosting light orange.

Frost bottom third of cake with dark orange frosting. Frost middle third of cake with medium orange frosting. Frost top third and top of cake with light orange frosting.

(1/4 teaspoon of food color equals 20 to 25 drops.)

Sources: McCormick Sweet, Daisy Savory

When meal planning, choose a portion from each food group. Typically, most adults need 6 to 11 servings of grain products per day; 3 to 5 servings of vegetables; 2 to 4 servings of fruit each day; 3 cups of dairy products every day; and 2 or 3 ounces per day of meat which equals 2 servings.

Sensible portion sizes and limited number of servings keep even the most decadent sweet and yummy desserts part of a balanced diet.

I'm Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert and everyday home kitchen cook on family friendly food that's easy to make and tastes good. After feeding three kids for more than a couple of decades, living with diabetes and blogging over 500 posts, I evaluate everything food, and write about how to Think Thin. Forward to a friend.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Recipe with Protein: Roast Turkey Dinner

My dad used to get up in the wee hours to put the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven. It was a ritual that he made a lot of fun: It wasn't a chore for him.

After he made the "chestnut dressing," he'd stuff the bird and lift this giant pan onto the oven rack. It was just one of the memories he gave me that steered my life.

I've dolled it up a bit, but my perfect Thanksgiving meal starts with fresh banana and cranberry-orange bread lightly toasted with creamy butter and hot cocoa in the morning. Maybe with a few marshmallows and a peppermint.

Dinner would be served at noon, maybe early mid-day. A big roasted turkey would sit at one end of the long table, ready to be carved as if it was part of the meals entertainment. I see my children's happy faces around the table.

This is not a buffet day. Bowls sit in the middle of table filled with turkey stuffing, whipped mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole (not to sweet), green bean casserole, corn casserole with chilis. Two jello salads like the kids used to love.

Hot rolls in napkin covered baskets and fresh-made cranberry sauce. Tall water glasses with ice cubes by each china plate. Two lit candles and some flowers. Music would waft in the air, over the giggles and laughter. Our family smiles a lot.

For dessert, cheesecake, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie, chocolate ice box cake, maybe even bread pudding. Tons of freshly whipped cream. A cold punch, no soda cans, maybe homemade flavored iced tea or a white wine spritzer would bless my meal.

Roasted Turkey with Giblet Gravy
Serves 12-16 with plenty of leftovers

1 (18 pound) whole Honeysuckle White® turkey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Salt and ground black pepper
1 1/2 quarts turkey stock
8-10 cups already prepared chestnut stuffing

Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Loosely stuff turkey cavities, front and back, and truss closed with string.

Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack inside roasting pan. Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over and around the turkey.

Place turkey pan in the 325 degree preheated oven, and pour 2 cups chicken stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste every 30 minutes. If drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten turkey, about 1 to 2 cups at a time.

Remove aluminum foil after 3 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 180 degrees, about 5-6 hours, maybe 7-8 hours depending on how big and luscious the turkey is.

Transfer turkey to a large serving platter, cover loosely; let rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes to set in juices (so meat won't dry out) before carving.

Turkey stuffing vs turkey dressing. Stuffing is prepared inside the turkey as it bakes; whereas turkey dressing is prepared separately in a casserole dish. Baking inside turkey adds flavor,

The boo-hoo about stuffing vs dressing is that the turkey juices may contain salmonella bacteria and that can soak into the stuffing; stuffing must be cooked to 165 degrees to be safe. Make sure your meat thermometer is 165 degrees.

Turkey Giblet Gravy
Neck and giblets (from whole turkey)
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups drippings from roasted turkey
1/4 cup chicken broth, if needed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

In 2-quart saucepan, place giblets (except liver); add enough water to cover. Add celery, onion, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 1 to 2 hours or until giblets are tender. Discard celery and onion. Cool.

Place 1/2 cup drippings in roasting pan or skillet. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping up brown bits in pan, until smooth and browned. Gradually stir in remaining broth. Cook, stir constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Remove meat from neck; finely chop meat and giblets; add to gravy, if desired. Salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information
Calories 262; Carbohydrates 0g; Cholesterol 119mg; Fiber 0g; Sodium: 111mg; Fat 10g; Protein 48g

GI means glycemic index. The number listed next to each food is its glycemic index. This is a value obtained by monitoring a person's blood sugar after eating the food.

Honeysuckle White® Fresh Whole Turkeys are the first from a major brand to be raised without using antibiotics for growth promotion. Since 1965, families have trusted the Honeysuckle White® brand to deliver quality turkey products, great taste and supreme value. Turkeys have the "USDA Process Verified" seal.

According to, skinless turkey is low in fat. White meat has less fat than the dark meat, but perhaps not so much as to matter. A typical turkey consists of 70 per cent white meat and 30 per cent dark meat.

Turkey meat is a valuable source of protein, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. It is also a source of vitamin B6 and niacin, which are both essential for the body's energy production. Regular turkey consumption can help lower cholesterol levels. The meat is low-GI and can help keep insulin levels stable.

Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which produces serotonin and plays an important role in strengthening the immune system. It is also a source of selenium, which is essential for thyroid hormone metabolism. It boosts immunity and acts as an antioxidant.

Turkeys are descendant of the wild turkey native to northern Mexico and farmed in Eastern United States. Turkey farming is significantly different from typical poultry farming. Please do start now to plan your thankful meal with the family you love so much.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. I welcome comments and questions, requests. Make noise about food. Contact me. Follow me. Share with me. Click here to get the next menu, meal plan and useful kitchen tips in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Features One-Dish Meal: Mashed Potato Turkey Pie

It's Friday Features, and today it's olive oil, the potato ricer, and potato turkey pie served with a pumpkin shake.

Featured nutrient-rich food: Olive Oil
Press an olive and you get one of the healthiest fats in the world. The main benefit of olive oil is that it lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol and raises “good” HDL cholesterol, thanks to its monosaturated fats.

Olive oil is also packed with antioxidants called phenols, which may protect artery walls from cholesterol buildup.

Featured kitchen item: Potato Ricer
A potato ricer (also called a ricer) is a kitchen implement used to process potatoes or other food by forcing it through a sheet of small holes, which are typically about the diameter of a grain of rice.

The benefit to using a potato ricer instead of mashing the potatoes by hand is that the potato ricer achieves a uniformly smooth consistency with no lumps. And an electric mixer or food processor can overwork the starches, producing a gluey product.

Featured One Dish Meal: Mashed Potato Turkey Pie
4-6 Servings; leftovers freeze well for another meal

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
5 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups cooked turkey, cut into small bite-size pieces
2 cups frozen green string beans, slightly chopped
3 tablespoons chives, thin sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups mashed potatoes, cooked earlier

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic and thyme. Cook about 10 minutes. Add flour and one cup of broth to a jar and shake well until there are no flour clods. Pour over onion and garlic mix, stir for about 2 minutes; slowly add remaining cup of broth. Simmer until it's a thick gravy consistency. Stir in cooked turkey and frozen green beans. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle turkey mixture into a 2-quart baking dish or large cast-iron skillet. Stir prepared mashed potatoes with chives, and spread mashed potatoes over the top. Bake at 400 degrees until filling bubbles and top of potato peaks are golden browned, 25-30 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: Spritz potato top with Pam Olive Oil 10 minutes before done to brown. Serve hot with a frosty mug of Pumpkin Shake.

Featured Beverage: Pumpkin Shake
2 servings

4 ounces chilled canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups cold milk
8 teaspoons sugar or substitute Stevia sweetener
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Simply combine everything in a blender, blend until smooth, enjoy or refrigerate in a separate bowl of ice to keep real cold. Swish before serving in a beer glass.

One-Dish Nutrition: 545 Calories; 52g Carbs; 148mg Cholesterol; 26g Fat; 26 Fiber; 26g Protein.

* Source:

The right nutrient-rich food and drink make for healthy bodies, and the right kitchen utensils make cooking easier. Most kitchen cooks have the basics: Mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, pastry brush, peeler, kitchen shears, pans and skillets, thermometer, graters, tongs, can openers.

You want to add a potato ricer to your kitchen.

Beverages are important, too. The human body is made up of about 60 percent water. It's vital to drink plenty of water to nourish the body, joints, temperature, spinal cord and brain. It has no calories and is generally refreshing. It's difficult for many to drink an 8 ounce glass of water every hour, so try to drink a big drink in the morning, at lunch, before or after dinner and before bedtime.

Don't forget. You want to create meals with memories.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, writer, blogger, foodie, reviews food and food related products and services, recipes, menus and meal planning, entertaining, grocery, shopping and budgets. Click here to get Being Grand posts in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Honor Veterans Day Recipe: Filet Mignon with Horseradish Salsa

Here's a holiday meal made with filet mignon is the perfect tribute to Veterans. The best for the best.

Veterans Day is an official holiday in the United States to honor men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11.

It marks the anniversary of the end of World War I when hostilities were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. Source

Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly once said, "An army travels on its stomach." True or not, it's a sentiment that American's appreciate. Today, it's important to honor and appreciate our military service men and women with the best food, an all-American steak.

Filet Mignon with Horseradish Salsa
Serves 4

Horseradish Salsa
3 medium (about 1 pound) ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup(s) loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 small red onion, minced
2 tablespoon(s) prepared white horseradish
1 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

Tenderloin Steaks
1 teaspoon(s) cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon(s) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) dried thyme
1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with garlic press
4 (each about 6 ounces, 1 inch thick) beef tenderloin steaks, (filet mignon)

Prepare horseradish salsa: In medium bowl, stir all salsa ingredients; set aside, or cover and refrigerate if not serving right away. Makes about 2 cups.

Prepare tenderloin steaks: In cup, mix pepper, olive oil, salt, thyme, and garlic. Rub pepper mixture all over steaks. Place steaks on grill over medium heat and cook 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare or until of desired doneness, turning steaks over once. Serve steaks with horseradish salsa.

Each serving steak only: About 260 calories, 37 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 11 g total fat (4 g saturated), 0 g fiber, 89 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium.

Each 1/4 cup salsa: About 35 calories, 1 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 2 g total fat (0 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Calories 260; Carbohydrates 1g; Cholesterol 89mg; Fiber 0g; Sodium: 350mg; Fat 11g; Protein 37g; Sodium 350mg; Sugars 0g

Serve with slices of yellow squash, zucchini or other favorite vegetable. For dessert, serve a slice of double-chocolate cake topped with icy cold scoops of ice cream.

Source: Good Housekeeping

Triple-Test Promise for Recipes
At Good Housekeeping, we want to make sure that every recipe we print works in any oven, with any brand of ingredient, no matter what. That's why, in our test kitchens at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, we go all out: We test each recipe at least three times — and, often, several more times after that.

Happy Veteran's Day to my family and all my military friends and followers.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook up a great meal that gets oohs and aahs from family and friends. Make noise about food. Contact me. Follow me. Share with me. Click here to get the next menu, meal plan and useful kitchen tips in your inbox. Forward to a friend.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Make It Monday: Slow-Cooker Market-Fresh Pot Roast

It's Make-It-Monday. Why save pot roast for Sunday? Put a boneless beef chuck in the slow cooker this morning and serve this classic meat-and-potatoes easy-to-make dish tonight.

Slow-cookers, namely Crock Pots, became popular in post-War 1950s. The small kitchen appliance enabled women to maintain some semblance of work-home balance, a feature that became increasingly attractive as women entered the American workforce. The appeal? It's "hands off" once you put the ingredients into the pot.

The Crock Pot's efficiency was a particular asset during the oil crisis of 1973, and the energy crisis of 1979 -- because Crock Pot pulled about the same little amount of energy as an incandescent lightbulb, far less than the electricity required to run a traditional electric oven for any substantial amount of time.

While women fell in love with the Crock Pot for the convenience, America fell in love with it for the money it saved.

At the 2014's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, alongside prototypes of new smart this and that from TVs to Audi headlights, device-maker Belkin announced its plan to extend its Internet-connected (home automation) WeMo product line to Jarden's small appliance lineup, including the Crock Pot. Cooking by remote might be a Wi-Fi innovation that extends to many food industry appliance in the future. Amazing.

Get out your slow cooker "Crock Pot" for this comfort food extravaganza. Not only do the potatoes and onions add flavor and a good source of vitamin C, but the meat provides iron and protein needed for good health.

Slow-Cooker Market-Fresh Pot Roast
Serves 8

1 lb. new potatoes
2 cups pearl onions, peeled
1 boneless beef chuck or blade roast (2 lb.)
1/2 cup KRAFT Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Place all ingredients, except parsley, in slow cooker; cover with lid. Slow cook on low, 8 to 9 hours (or on HIGH 6 to 7 hours).

Transfer meat to cutting board; cut across the grain into thin slices. Place on platter; surround with potatoes. Skim fat from sauce and discard fat. Serve with hot cooked baby carrots. Drizzle sauce over meat and vegetables. Top with parsley.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)
Calories 210; Carbohydrates 15g; Cholesterol 50mg; Fiber 32; Sodium 210mg; Fat 2g; Protein 10g

* Source: Kraft, Cnet

Kraft Foods Group, Inc. is an American grocery manufacturing and processing conglomerate headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Northfield, Illinois. The company has its origin as National Dairy Products Corporation (National Dairy), formed on December 10, 1923, by Thomas H. McInnerney. The company's core businesses are in beverage, cheese, dairy foods, snack foods, and convenience foods.

Cholesterol is an essential substance for the body's normal function, but when cholesterol levels in the blood get too high, it becomes a silent killer that puts the body at risk for heart attack. There are two types of cholesterol. Good (HDL) and Bad (LDL). You want to know your limit before you eat another bite of food.

Good food, meatless, spicy, decadent recipes, and kitchen basics from top chefs around the web, all in one place, for busy home kitchen cooks, empty nesters, diabetics and lovers of Mexican cuisine from Alexandria, the Yum expert. ¡Olé!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sandwich Saturday: Muffulett

It's Sandwich Saturday. This week, from All Recipes, it the famous Muffuletta.

The muffuletta is both a type of round Sicilian sesame bread and a popular sandwich originating among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, Louisiana using the same bread.

These gigantic sandwiches were invented a century ago at Sicilian Deli in New Orleans. The spicy, tangy olive salad is what really sets this meat and cheese sandwich apart.

A genuine muffuletta should be made on oven-fresh Italian bread topped with sesame seeds. Be sure and use the highest-quality ingredients available; it really makes a difference!

Since you're going to all the trouble of making the olive salad, consider doubling the recipe so you'll have some extra waiting around for when you get another muffuletta craving -- it keeps for at least a month.

Use round bread loaves for real muffuletta.

Muffuletta Sandwich
Serves 8

1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, crushed
1/2 cup drained kalamata olives, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped pickled cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped carrot
1/2 cup pepperoncini, drained
1/4 cup marinated cocktail onions
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2 (1 pound) loaves Italian bread
8 ounces thinly sliced Genoa salami
8 ounces thinly sliced cooked ham
8 ounces sliced mortadella
8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese

To Make Olive Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the green olives, kalamata olives, garlic, cauliflower, capers, celery, carrot, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, vinegar, olive oil and canola oil.

Mix together and transfer mixture into a glass jar (or other nonreactive container). If needed, pour in more oil to cover. Cover jar or container and refrigerate at least overnight.

To Make Sandwiches: Cut loaves of bread in half horizontally; hollow out some of the excess bread to make room for filling. Spread each piece of bread with equal amounts olive salad, including oil. Layer 'bottom half' of each loaf with 1/2 of the salami, ham, mortadella, mozzarella and Provolone. Replace 'top half' on each loaf and cut sandwich into quarters.

Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours; this will allow for the flavors to mingle and the olive salad to soak into the bread.

* Source: All Recipes

Peperoncini are mild with a slight heat and a hint of bitterness, and are commonly pickled and sold packaged in jars.

Kalamata olive is a large purple olive with a smooth, meaty texture named after the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Often used as table olives, they are usually preserved in wine vinegar or olive oil.

Posted by Alexandria Marx, the Yum Expert. Anyone can cook meals that get oohs and aahs from family and friends. Comment questions, requests and recipes. Share your ideas. Click here now to get the next recipe in your inbox. Forward to a friend.