Try these three USA super sandwiches from In Bread.
Muffuletta is the name given to a type of bread brought over to Louisiana by Italian immigrants. The name also applies to this sandwich, which is traditionally filled with an olive salad and as much deli meat and cheese as you can squeeze in. The olive salad is extremely addictive and is a fantastic accompaniment to a cheese board or served with fish. You need to make it the day before to allow the flavours to develop. We recommend making double the quantity so you have leftovers.
800g Italian sourdough cob loaf, or similar
80g sliced ham
60g sliced mild salami
60g hot sopressa
6 slices provolone
12 extra-large green pitted olives, roughly chopped
8 black olives, roughly chopped
20 pimentos, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
small handful finely chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
90ml olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1. Make the olive salad a day ahead. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and season with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
2. Slice the top third off the cob loaf and pull out two-thirds of the bread from the inside and a little from the 'lid'. Blitz into breadcrumbs and place in the freezer for another use.
3. Give the olive salad a good stir then spread about half into the bottom of your bread 'bowl'. Top with a layer each of sliced ham, salami, hot sopressa and provolone. Repeat the meat and cheese layers and finish with the remaining olive salad (you should still be able to put the sandwich 'lid' on tightly). Add the top of the bread and wrap the whole lot tightly in plastic wrap.
4. Set aside for a couple of hours so the olive oil soaks into the bread. Divide the cob into four triangles and serve.
Behold the lobster roll! Photo: Chris Middleton
The New England lobster roll
Whoever came up with the idea of shoving freshly cooked lobster into a hot buttered roll was on to a very good thing. This simple recipe allows the flavours to speak for themselves, and we haven't ventured too far from the original because why mess with perfection?
butter, for spreading
2 long soft rolls, tops split open lengthways
½ celery stalk, thinly sliced
a few snipped chives
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp whole-egg mayonnaise
2 cooked lobster tails or crayfish, flesh chopped into bite-sized pieces
small handful watercress
1. Slather butter on the outside of each roll (stay with me here). Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the buttered rolls. Lightly toast until the butter has melted and your rolls look like they've had a spray-tan. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Combine the celery, chives, lemon juice and mayonnaise in a small bowl. (Resist the temptation to add more mayo. If you're spending the money on making a lobster sandwich you want to be able to taste the damn thing). Season with the tiniest bit of salt and lots of black pepper. Stir through the chopped lobster and check the seasoning.
3. Pile the lobster mixture into the rolls and add a few watercress stalks for colour and crunch.
Bean and cheese jaffle. Photo: Chris Middleton
Boston baked bean and cheddar jaffle
As the name suggests, Boston baked beans originated in Boston, although they were often made using molasses instead of maple syrup, which is more commonly used today. The beans were cooked in large earthenware pots that would keep the beans warm overnight and throughout the next day.
butter, for spreading
four slices wholemeal bread
60 g (2 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
Boston baked beans
1 smoked ham hock, or the leftover bone from a Christmas ham (you will need about 100g meat)
75g dried borlotti beans soaked in cold water overnight
75g cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight
1 tbsp olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
400g tin diced tomatoes
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1. To make the Boston baked beans, remove any skin and visible fat from the ham.
2. Drain the beans and transfer to a heavy-based oven-proof saucepan with a lid. Add the ham hock or bone and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the beans and the hock, reserving the cooking water.
3. Remove the meat from the hock and dice into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 180C.
4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and gently cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the maple syrup, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup and dijon mustard. Return the beans and the chopped ham to the pan, along with 250ml (1 cup) of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir well to combine.
5. Pop the lid on the saucepan and transfer to the bottom shelf of the oven. Cook for 1–1½ hours, checking occasionally and adding more cooking liquid if the mixture looks like it's drying out. Season to taste.
6. Heat a jaffle maker and butter one side of the bread. Heap two tablespoons of beans and a handful of grated cheese onto the unbuttered side of two slices. Top with the remaining bread, butter side up, and transfer to the jaffle maker. Toast until nice and brown or cooked to your liking.
This is an edited extract from In Bread: 70 Brilliant Sandwich Recipes by Lucy Heaver and Aisling Coughlan, published by Smith Street Books, RRP $29.99, photography by Chris Middleton.