Friday, April 18, 2014

Best Italian Sandwiches EVER! And I'm not kidding!!!!

For a few months, a guy I worked with, a fellow foodie, kept bugging me to get this special sandwich called "The Fireman".  It wasn't on the menu and was only advertised by Twitter on days it was available. Finally one day it was available and I had cash on me, so I said yes.

He listed the ingredients which all seemed to be prefaced with the word "spicy". I asked if it was tasty spicy or "melt my face off" spicy.  I like spicy, but only if it enhances the flavor, not to prove anything.  He said it was tasty spicy. So we got them to go and brought them back to work.

I opened the box and it was a beautiful sandwich. It was on garlic foccacia.  It had capicola, pepperoni and a spicy ham. It was topped with a guardinaire.  It was also MASSIVE.

I took a bite and it was amazing.  It also melted my face off.  Thank goodness I was wearing layers that day.

I brought half of the sandwich home to John. He warmed it up and fell in love.  Next thing you know, we are creating our own version.  After a couple of tweaks to tone it down, we have created the BEST ITALIAN SANDWICH EVER AND I'M NOT KIDDING!

We tried with some garlic foccacia, but found that a simpler bread was the perfect compliment to all the complex flavors in the sandwich. We went to the Italian market and got some meats for our sandwich.

First we heat the rolls a little.  It makes the outside a little crusty and the insides soft and warm.

John pulls them out with his asbestos hands.

Sliced in half.

A little spread of garlic aioli.

Sandwich pepperoni.

Salami.  John just tells the Italian market guy he wants salami for sandwiches. We trust our guy.

An extra slice of pepperoni. John decided it need a touch more.

Capicola.  So tasty.

A slice of boiled ham. It helps marry all the flavors together.

Then comes the giardiniera. This is the hard part. We get it at the local Italian grocery store. The hot kind is super hot, and I am very delicate. The mild doesn't have enough kick for John. For some reason they don't make a medium...I don't know why. So we bought a big jar of mild and a little jar of hot and made our own medium.

John drained the oil off and topped the sandwiches, well, he topped four of them, Chris likes his without.

Then half a slice of provolone.

Tops on.

We cover it with foil and it is ready to steam to perfection. Pop them into the 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

And they are delicious.  Spicy and warm and just plain perfect.

Seriously...the BEST Italian sandwiches! We could eat these every day for weeks!