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We visit New York each October to attend the StarChefs International Chefs Congress, where new ideas and foods are introduced and discussed by the best in the food business.   Each year, talented chefs from all over the U.S. and around the world convene at the Park Avenue Armory for several days of cooking demonstrations, presentations, and sampling of new ingredients, flavor pairings, and perfectly executed dishes.

Nueske’s prepared four separate dishes for attendees to sample during the congress:

  • Chopped Cobb Salad with Creamy Dressing
  • Smoked Duck, Chicken, & Shrimp Gumbo
  • Smoked Duck Wontons with Duck Glacé and Spicy Mustard
  • Smoky Ham Muffaletta

In this post, we’ll share our recipe for our smoky ham muffaletta with you.  The muffaletta has its origins in New Orleans and we were proud to be serving a dish from a city with such a wonderful and rich culinary history.  In this recipe, some substitutions are OK, but it’s very important not omit or tamper with the olive salad – it’s an integral part of any muffaletta!

Nueske’s Smoky Ham Muffaletta

Here’s what you’ll need (amounts depend on the size of your focaccia loaf):

Directions:  Slice your focaccia in half (the long way) and layer the meats and cheese on the bottom half.  We applied them in the following order: beef, sausage, ham, and then cheese.  Layer the olive salad evenly on top of your meats and cheese.  Spread mustard on the top slice of focaccia and then sprinkle the top slice with hot sauce… liberally, if you can take it!  Place the two halves of the loaf back together in standard sandwich formation.  Place the whole loaf in a panini press and grill until the cheese is soft and melted and the bread is just toasted.  Serve immediately. 

We’ll be posting other recipes from the 2011 International Chefs Congress in the future, so keep reading if you’re after those duck wontons, that cobb salad, or Jason Riels’ fabulous gumbo.

Nueske's take on the New Orleans classic, the muffaletta.

Nueske's Muffaletta Sandwich

Recipes courtesy of Jason Riels of Nueske’s.  Jason is the Nueske’s sales manager for the Southwestern U.S. and also our Business Gift Division.  He was formally trained at the Culinary Institute of America.