If the only thing you know about submarine sandwiches is that they only cost 5 dollars for a footlong, you need to get your head checked. What the hell does Subway mold their meat out of anyways? I think it's perhaps some kind of poly blend mixed with cardboard and horse hooves. We'll never know. Like every other delicious thing that fast food chains have bastardized, the mighty submarine sandwich has fallen to a lowly place where hamburgers are served by clowns and come with a side of ecoli. A place where a little Mexican dog can whip you up a taco wrapped in a burrito wrapped in a taquito wrapped in a fajita wrapped in a bowl of refried beans. I like hot sauce, but if your little processed pack of hot sauce can eat the finish off a penny I don't want it in my mouth. It's an unreasonable make believe land where no one expects to pay no more than five bucks for lunch. All I know is that you always get what you pay for. I understand times are tough and everyone needs to save a buck. Wanna save your money? Buy some quality ingredients and make lunch yourself. It'll cost you less and be a million more times satisfying than your creepy cardboard sandwich. I'll admit, I grew up on fast food. I am addicted to the stuff. Once in a while I break down and eat some phony food. I'm like a recovering crack addict only my drug of choice used to be seven layer burritos. So I understand, those urges. However, we can choose to build a better and healthier world by fighting those urges and show these corporations that we don't want to eat fake food anymore. The almighty dollar no longer comes first in my food decisions. I want to know where my food comes from and how the ingredients are processed. Support the local little guys, the people who care about the food and your health. Or make something delicious at home. You won't regret it. Unless of course you're a terrible cook in which case you should get cooking lessons stat!
Okay, so my soapbox imploded and now we're just left with the food. Where were we? Ah yes, the submarine sandwich. If your city has an Italian neighboorhood in it, chances are you have your own version of the submarine sandwich. In New York you have The Submarine, the Hero, the Italian Sandwich. In Boston and Eastern New England you have Grinders (the Italian-Americans referred to the dock workers as Grinders). In Jersey you got Torpedos and Bombers. In North Pennsylvania you have Cosmos. In western New England there's Tunnels. In St. Louis you have Poor Boys. In Louisiana there are Po Boys. In England you have Rockets. Where ever you are, a good sub can be found.
The other day I went down to Delaurentis and picked up some sliced mortadella, coppocolla, calabrese salami, and provolone. I grabbed a few fresh tomatoes and a head of lettuce from the market. I also got some Macrina sandwich rolls. I made New England Grinders and I have to say they were delicious. They cost about $4.25 each to make. It took about 4 minutes to make them. If that's not tasty fast food than I don't know what is.
New England Grinders
4 8-10" Italian grinder rolls
½ lb. sliced provolone cheese
½ lb. thinly sliced mortadella
½ lb. thinly sliced spicy coppocolla
½ lb. thinly sliced hard Genoa or Calabrese salami
½ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, diced
½ cup pickled peppers (I use spicy Mama Lil's)
½ cup dill pickles, chopped
1 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
½ Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
tt kosher salt
tt fresh cracked black pepper
Slice rolls longways and arrange on a baking sheet cut side up.
Mix together the tomatoes, peppers, pickles, olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper.
Toast the rolls under the broiler for about a minute.
Layer the sandwiches with the provolone, mortadella, coppocolla, salami, lettuce, and top with the dressed vegetables.