Miche Pastiche

I had hoped to blog this week about great Super Bowl appetizers you could create while watching the Patriots in the biggest game of the year.  Unfortunately, TB12 and Co. will have the same vantage point as the rest of America: through a TV screen.  The show must go on though, and over the next two weeks I will showcase some crowd pleasing applications with LaVallee’s bread that can be perfectly paired with close friends and football viewing.  These appetizers may even help you forget that the Pats aren’t competing for the Lombardi trophy anymore.

This week I decided to try something I recently saw done at a local deli, so I can’t exactly take credit for this idea.

 It is more or less a pastiche, a French term defined as a stylistic interpretation.  I decided to use the Au Pain Dore Miche loaf, a gorgeous 22 oz handcrafted country white round loaf.  Thus the title of this blog: The Miche Pastiche.

In the original recipe I saw, the creator took a large bread boule and cut a series of 1 inch slices about 9/10th of the way down, stopping just before cutting entirely through the loaf.  The turned the boule 90 degrees and did the same exact thing, creating a cross-hatch pattern of 1”x1” squares.  From here, cheese and pepperoni were carefully stuffed in each row and the whole thing was baked until the cheese had melted.  This could be shared by many people by simply tearing off a “baton” of bread with the cheese and meat that had clung to it.

In my version, I decided to use a much more rustic loaf.  I  used a really nice quality whole milk mozzarella that I hand shredded,  and applied a liberal amount of freshly sliced and chopped pepperoni and hot capicolla. I brushed the entire top of the loaf with a garlic and herb butter and baked it in a hot oven for about 8-10 minutes.  The results yielded an irresistible buttery and fragrant crust that contrasted perfectly with the soft interior crumb of the miche loaf- all blanketed in melted mozzarella and studded with cured pork.

This can easily be shared among your hungriest friends with enough for about 8 people.  The Miche Pastiche can easily be done ahead of time and simply baked when you need it.  Its best served immediately. Happy Cooking!

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