no baloney

food detective

Categories: Appetizers, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Supper, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on December 19, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten

Mortadella, an emulsified pork sausage that’s been a staple for centuries in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, has become a recent rage. You’ll find it gracing charcuterie boards, elevating every sandwich it’s tucked into, and even whipped to create a transcendent canapé.

One of my favorite spots outside of Los Angeles is Milkfarm, an artisanal cheese shop in Eagle Rock. Not only do they have the most amazing array of cheeses and cured meats, but they also have what has to be the best sandwich board north of DTLA. My go-to is their mortadella muffuletta. A pillowy focaccia slathered with garlic aioli, spicy olive salad, slices of cheese, piles of paper-thin mortadella and a handful of baby spinach. To call it an ethereal eat would be an understatement.

To make two mortadella muffulettas, split a 5x7 square of focaccia in half through the middle. Spread each cut surface generously with a tablespoon of garlic aioli.

Top with three to four tablespoons of muffuletta mix to cover.

You can make your own, but this jarred version by Marconi is excellent.

Layer with three to four thin slices of mozzarella.

Then a third of a pound of thinly sliced mortadella.

Top the bottom piece with a handful of baby spinach.

Carefully place the top on the bottom. Cut on the diagonal to create four triangular wedges.

I finally finished the second season of “The Bear”. I was thrilled to discover that the show’s last episode featured a savory cannolo filled with a mortadella mousse on its opening menu. What a trifecta- savory, mousse, and mortadella. This piqued my inner food detective, and just like fate a recipe for a mortadella mousse appeared in my NYT feed.

For the mortadella mousse canapés begin with a quarter pound piece of mortadella with the rind removed.

Dice the mortadella and place in a food processor.

Pulse into a paste.

Add two tablespoons of mascarpone, three tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and a grind of nutmeg.

Pulse until blended.

 Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

With a melon baller, scoop out a small ball of mousse and lightly press onto a toast round.

Preheat broiler. Dust each canape round finely grated parmesan cheese. Watching carefully, run under the broiler briefly, for about one minute, to lightly brown the top.

Jump on the mortadella bandwagon. You might just find yourself hot for this cold cut.

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