Muffalatta tomato pie

The mister asked me to bring him a jar of muffuletta from good ol’ the USofA and I obliged despite its weight which was about half of the weight in my luggage. We made sandwiches which were amazing but later when I was making tomato tart for a dinner with his colleagues I slopped a couple three tablespoons of it onto the top and drizzled the oil over that. OMG. So good. This recipe, which follows, is so easy (aside from the making of the crust but you could use a purchased one depending on whether or not you could live with yourself afterward) and it’s an absolute crowd pleaser. His colleague Frau Vargas leaned towards her husband and said, “Lecker!” (Delicious in German). I love her.

While Glorioso spells it muffalatta, the real spelling is muffuletta. Before anyone jumps down my throat (you know who you are).

Tomato Tart

Preheat oven to 400

One pastry crust, just the bottom part.

Some sliced tomatoes, enough to cover a pie, thickly sliced

(Winter tomatoes are perfect for this, fortunately, though, these were summer tomatoes)

3 cups shredded cheese (about)

(I shred my own but you can use bagged cheese, it’s a lot easier, if less delicious and more not-ecological, just sayin’)

Dijon mustard or a mix of mayonnaise and mustard, or just whatever. Who cares? I don’t.

Basil chiffonade (pinky in the air emoji)

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Put the crust in a tart pan, you can use a pie pan or anything that holds it although it won’t be as fussy fancy as one would like it to be.

Spread the raw crust liberally with mustard and/or mayonnaise.

(You can use sour cream, mayonnaise, oh hell, peanut butter for all I care)

Fill it with shredded cheese

(Swiss cheese is nice but anything works, a combination of cheeses is great, add some bleu cheese, would work for sure)

Cover with sliced tomatoes

A light sprinkling of parmesan works here, and muffuletta if you have it on hand, olives, onions, absolutely not anchovies, though.

Plop it the oven for 35-45 minutes until it looks browned.

Throw on some basil when you take it out of the oven, or not.

Let cool and slice up. Or just fold it on half and eat like a sandwich.

Extra effort

The old ball and chain invited a former colleague over for dinner. I had never met her but I knew that she was a good cook and that she appreciated good food. He asked me to make shrimp creole and I added a cake and salad to the menu. Making this cake was maddening. You try making a cake when the oven is barking orders like this at you. And then there was the issue of frosting it. I just hate frosting cakes. First there’s the crumb coat annoyance and then there’s the moment of panic when you think you don’t have enough frosting. You cannot begin to imagine what the kitchen looked like.

This recipe for shrimp creole called for making a dark roux which for those of you who don’t cook is a mix of butter and flour, in this case sautéed until it is brown. Sound fun? Fifteen minutes of constant stirring.

At the last minute I decided to make croutons out of an end of a loaf of bread that was lying around. The salad was just going to be oil and vinegar on lettuce. Why not add a little something extra? OK, chopping up a stale end of bread—little bits and crumbs skittering all over the goddam place is a really great addition to an already messy kitchen. Then I sautéed the mess in garlic oil, which I had to make first, of course. At some point in this I thought to myself, “Why the fuck are you doing this to yourself?!?”

During the meal his colleague leaned to her husband and said, “Diese Croutons sind lecker!” These croutons are delicious. That’s why the fuck I do that.

Recipe link below

I thought this recipe for shrimp creole was really good, if a lot of work and the Royal Indian Mounted Police made fresh creole seasoning which was freaking awesome and somehow he was able to make this without the massive mess I’d have created… recipe here.