$500 Second Place Winner
Second Prize Winner: "Ultimate Sub Sandwich"
1. How did you feel when you found out you won the contest?
I was really excited when Chef Richard Hirshen called to let me know my recipe for The Ultimate Italian Sub Sandwich took the honors of 2nd place.
2. How did you come up with the winning recipe?
I wanted to create a recipe with mass appeal and “comfort food” is what came into my mind. Crispy garlic bread, melted cheese blended with marinara sauce, layers of deli meats, and the incorporation of multiple Bella Sun Luci products…all came together to deliver a culinary sensation for the taste buds.
3. How long have you been using Bella Sun Luci products? And what is your favorite?
I’m not sure how long it’s been, but I know it’s been…years. I LOVE the Sun Dried Tomatoes Halves in the packets and in the jar with the olive oil and Italian herbs. I can choose to slice, dice, or blend them into my recipes.
4. Where do you shop for Bella Sun Luci products?
Target, Walmart Super Store and Walmart online.
5. Other hobbies, passions, and pastimes?
I really enjoy cooking for myself and friends. I also wouldn’t mind finding a husband to cook for too! lol This is the 3rd time a recipe I’ve created has placed in a National recipe contest. It’s also been at least 5 or 6 years since I last entered a contest, and that’s also what makes this win so special for me too!
Ultimate Italian Sub Sandwich
- 1 Fresh loaf of French bread from a grocery store bakery 4-1/2" to 5” wide x 16” long. (Do not use hard/crusty artisan style bread)
Ingredients for garlic butter:
- ½ stick salted butter
- ¼ cup of herb olive oil from the jar of Bella Sun Luci Julienne Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil & Italian Herbs
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 large cloves of fresh garlic (crushed or finely grated)
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese (dry/canned style)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
Ingredients for tomato herb & cheese mixture:
- ¾ cup Bella Sun Luci Tomato & Artichoke Marinara Pasta Sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ½ cup Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne-Cut with Zesty Peppers
- (chop into ¼” pieces)
- 2 cups grated low-moisture Mozzarella cheese (DO NOT use fresh mozzarella. Too soft)
Ingredients for sandwich filling:
- ½ lb. Black Forest ham (thin sliced from grocery deli)
- ½ lb. thin sliced Genoa salami (thin sliced from grocery deli)
- ½ small red *onion (thinly slice)
- 1½ cups pepperoncini slices (drain the liquid)
- ¾ cup Bella Sun Luci Julienne Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil & Italian Herbs, drained
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata Olives (Slice into rings)
*onion is optional
- PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove bread from bag and cut in half lengthwise. Keep both halves together and use the flat palms of both hands to firmly press down and compress the entire length of bread to a 1½” height. This technique is the key to creating a perfectly crispy and less doughy sandwich.
- Place both halves of bread cut side up and side by side on to a large cookie sheet. Set aside.
- Add butter and reserved Italian herb olive oil into a medium microwavable bowl.
- Microwave uncovered on high for 30 to 40 seconds to soften the butter. The butter does not need to melt completely.
- Stir in parsley, Italian seasoning, garlic, parmesan cheese, and paprika. Mix well.
- Lightly brush the outer halves of bread with a thin layer of butter mixture.
- Evenly spread the remaining butter mixture over the insides of bread.
- Thoroughly mix the Bella Sun Luci Tomato & Artichoke Marinara Pasta Sauce, Italian seasoning, Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne-Cut with Zesty Peppers, and mozzarella cheese in a medium/large bowl.
- Evenly spread the cheese mixture along the inside halves of bread.
- Layer the ham and salami slices along the bottom half of bread and allow the meat to hang a ¼” over the edge.
- Bake open faced for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Remove bread from the oven. Quickly and evenly distribute the onion (optional), pepperoncini, Bella Sun Luci Julienne Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil & Italian Herbs (drained), and olives over the deli meat and cover with the top portion of bread.
- Use a cookie sheet or a medium sized cutting board to gently press down along the entire length of the hot sandwich to allow the melted cheese to help adhere both halves together. Slice into 4 to 6 pieces. Serve hot and enjoy!
This sandwich can also be sliced into thinner pieces when served cold or at room temperature. It’s the perfect sandwich for any buffet table, party, potluck or on game nights! A real crowd pleaser!!