Hoagie, Hero, Grinder, Sub

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recipe thursdayAh, the joy of a well-made sandwich, whether you call it a submarine, a grinder, a hero or a haogie, is not to be underestimated. A meal in one hand. A feast of texture, flavor and colors.

When I was a kid, hoagies were long, squashy rolls, drenched with Italian dressing and stuffed with the palest green lettuce you've ever seen. They were wrapped tightly in plastic and sold by fundraising cheerleaders in the school cafeteria.

Here's a more sophisticated version of the lunchroom hoagie.

Grownup Hoagie
serves 2-4

1 batard French loaf
5 slices "white roast" ham
5 slices mortadella (or baloney)
5 slices sopressata (or your favorite salami)
5 slices provolone cheese
1/2 tomato, sliced paper thin
1/4 onion, sliced paper thin
1/4 cup shredded lettuce
3-4 Tblsp Italian dressing

Slice the bread lengthwise, being careful not to cut all the way through, so you leave a hinge to close the sandwich.

Drizzle some dressing on the bread, reserving a tablespoon or so. Layer the ham, sausage, salami and cheese. Bake in a hot oven for about 7 minutes. Top with tomato, onion, lettuce and remaining dressing.

Use the flat side of a long knife to press the fillings in while closing the bread. Slice into thirds or quarters and serve.

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