Food, Thoughts

The Panicked Chef Makes: Pepperoni Subs

I think I’ve blogged before about my less-than-confident attempts in the kitchen.  But I can’t remember (or quickly find the links) so quick recap: my husband does all the cooking.  I do not, partly because I’m a control freak in the kitchen & cannot deviate from a recipe without having a paper bag handy.  So what I’m about to write about next is a large anomaly for me.

A few weekends ago, my husband Kurt & I were in Carytown eating lunch at Coppola’s Deli.  I got their Palermo sub, which is a pepperoni lover’s dream!  The sub is basically a small pizza in your hand: marinara sauce, mozzarella, green peppers, onions.  It was so good & since we don’t get to Carytown often, I decided to try & recreate the Palermo at home.

What?  ME?!  Try to recreate something based on taste when I once had an anxiety attack because I didn’t have a 3/4 dry measure for a recipe?  Who was this person?

But, I argued with myself, I know how to make marinara from scratch.  The peppers, onions and pepperoni get grilled together.  And then you put it all on bread with some cheese.  That can’t be hard, I reasoned.  Turns out, I was right for once.  (So HA, self.  Or something.  Ok, I’m going to stop arguing with myself now.)

First I made the marinara using Mark Bittman’s recipe from How To Cook Everything.  (The link is a bit different in measures, but all the same ingredients.)  I use garlic, instead of onion & once the sauce is starting to simmer, I throw in a bunch of herbs de Provence & a bay leaf or two.  My recipe made nearly 12 oz.


Then I took a green pepper & an onion & chopped them into long slices.  I cooked them in our grill pan until the onions were translucent & just beginning to brown.  You might want to cook the green pepper a little longer to get it a little softer.  Now, I think Coppola’s grills the meat along with the veggies, but I opted not to do that.  Once the sauce & veggies were ready, I cut a good-sized portion from the Italian loaf I bought & cut it open to layer my ingredients.  On both insides of the sandwich I spread the marinara sauce.  On one side went the peppers & onions, on the other went the pepperoni.  Delicious cheese went over all of it.  Put your broiler on high, pop the sandwiches in until cheese is melted & ta da!

Pizza in a sandwich!

I will say that these are not as good as the guys at Coppola’s can make, but they do in a pinch.  But the big moment for me was when my chef husband got halfway through the sub & said, “I can’t believe how great this is!”  I did it all without my emergency brown paper bag.  Win!


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