There’s a pizza place in Cincinnati called LaRosa’s and I’m addicted to them for two reasons: I like that they use provolone on their pizza and they have the best fuckin’ Italian Hoagie on the planet.
While living in Germany, I missed my Cincinnati food so much that I placed a long distance call to LaRosa’s and asked them for the recipe of the hoagie in question. Then, I made it all the time.
We used to have soldier’s over for dinner a few times a week to get them out of the barracks and to feed them a decent meal. Usually, I would go all out for these guys and cook them steaks in white wine sauce or some other such fancy schmancy shit and they loved it and would eat till bursting. Then, one night, I decided that I would serve up gigantic Italian Hoagies and from that point on Dean would be approached every day by soldiers asking what was for dinner.
We always had those soldiers without family over for holidays and so Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter would be a jam packed house where I would cook everything from scratch, pies and stuffings and breads. We became known as the house where everyone wanted to come and eat. It was almost like having a family. Of freeloaders.
But I loved the freeloaders.
That was the last really great time I had with the Army. Everyone knew who I was and I knew everyone else. We had friends and a pretty busy life although Dean was gone traipsing around Europe and the Middle East all the time. It seemed like they were always away on a field exercise somewhere and during those times, the wives sort of hung out but when they were back, I pretty much hung out with the other soldiers and was more comfortable that way.
I was the secretary of our Unit Readiness Group and my main job was executing fundraisers, most of which involved food. We made breakfast burritos, root beer floats, baked shit, potlucks, you name it. We made a ton of money and started raffling things off and I worked with the Commander to set things up. Like, whoever donated the most money got a four day pass or an opportunity to pie the first Sgt or something. We even raffled off a t.v. at one point. It was a great community and it’s never been like that since.
Today’s sandwich is an homage to our soldiers in Germany who would flock to the house to grub down on these badboys and who always took the leftovers. So, if you enjoy a big fuckin’ sandwich… then this one is for you!
The Ultimate Italian Hoagie
Buy or bake a big ass loaf of your favorite italian bread. Cut it in half and gut out just a little bit of the center and then start fillin’!
(sometimeds we add pepperoni and mozzarella.)
Smash the whole goddamned thing together and then brush the outer parts of the bread with water or an egg wash and generously sprinkle some parmesan cheese, a little garlic salt and some italian seasonings all over it.
wrap this giant fucker up in some tin foil and bake it just so that it heats up and the cheese melts. Pull it out and then add-
Green leaf lettuce
Mix together mayo and italian salad dressing and add a heart stopping glob to the sammy. I add a little black pepper and a teeny bit of salt and it’s perfection.
It’s messy. It’s filling. It’s unbelievably bad for you.