Italian Hoagies

hoagie

An Italian hoagie, as we call such a sandwich in our area, is one of our favorite sandwiches of all time, when done right. You have chewy and delicious bread, a great place to start for any sandwich, topped with flavorful meats, provolone cheese, crisp lettuce, tomato and red onion. The whole thing is capped off with some red wine vinegar, olive oil and a little oregano. Over the years, we’ve had some really great ones. The first time we realized how much we liked them was years ago after our cousin’s baptism in Staten Island, NY, where an insanely delicious Italian hoagie was served. I have no idea where it was from, but boy, was it good.

Where we live in suburbia good hoagies are difficult to come by (Wawa’s don’t count) so we’ve made our own over the past few years. The key is to use high-quality meat and cheese as well as excellent bread (ours was from La Baguette Magique) and you really cannot go wrong. Unless you’re A) vegetarian or B) missing several wisdom teeth following surgery this past Monday and cannot bear the thought of eating a chewy hoagie right now. But otherwise, this will not disappoint!

Italian Hoagie

Serves 4 generously

Recipe from Food Network

Ingredients

12-inch loaf of Italian bread (or French baguette, which is what we used)

5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

5 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 lb. sliced provolone

1/4 lb. sliced Genoa salami

1/4 lb. sliced ham (not smoked)

1/4 lb. sliced mortadella

1/4 lb. sliced capicola

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finally shredded

1/4-1/2 cup sliced pickled pepperoncini (this is optional- we omitted this time but they do add a nice spice and tang)

3 plum tomatoes, sliced thinly

1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced (let soak in cold water for 15 minutes to reduce their bite)

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Directions

Split bread lengthwise and remove some of it from the inside. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons each of the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Layer cheese and meat on the bottom half of the bread. Drain onion and pat dry; top the meat with onion, lettuce, pepperoncini, and tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and olive oil and sprinkle with the oregano. Season with more salt and pepper. Drizzle the cut side of the bread with the remainder of the vinegar and oil and place on top of the sandwich. Cut into 4 slices and serve. Enjoy!

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