Sunday, January 08, 2006

Salame Sandwich with Mushroom Spread and Arugula

After a trip to pick up a new dryer, we found ourselves close to Trader Joe's in Sacramento. A quick runaround in TJs provided us with wine (not the one pictured), bread, arugula, mushrooms and salami.

What to do with all of these new ingredients? Make a sandwich, of course!

I had a salami sandwich on the savory challah roll that we baked a few days earlier. It was good, but it was missing something as it consisted of bread and meat.

Not to be defeated by a sandwich, I persevered to make a better salami sandwich.

Salami Sandwich with Mushroom Spread and Arugula

6-8 in baguette piece, cut in half
4-10 slices of salami, depending on the size
crimini (brown) mushrooms, slicked to 1/8"
olive oil
tomato paste
red pepper flakes
baby arugula

In a sautee pan, heat some olive oil to med-high heat. Add in the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Let the mushrooms color on the first side, then flip them over or mix them up to get them softened, but not floppy. Add in a big tablesppon of tomato paste and cook until the paste is warmed through. Add in a shake of oregano and 3 shakes of red pepper flake (or 2 or 1 shake, to your heat-index preference). Slowly add in some water, 1 tsp at a time, until the consistency of a spread is attained. Dump the tomato/mushroom concoction onto a chopping board and chop up the mushrooms into small pieces for easier spreading (although not required, it makes its easier to cut the sandwich in half).

Time for assembly:
Drizzle some olive oil on each side of the baguette. Lay down the salami on the bottom half. Spread the spread over the salami and pile on the arugula. Salt and pepper it, close it up and cut in half. You are ready to eat!

A accompanied my sandwich with a balsamic vinegarette arugula salad and a glass of 2001 White Oak Syrah. Both were very good.

So, mission accomplished. I created a much better version of a salami sandwich

I even have a testamonial:
"It was transcendent. I'll never look at cured meats the same way again." -Antonia Oakley, Davis, CA

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