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!
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!