How to Make a Hoagie


As many versions of the origins of the hoagie exist as there are variations in the ingredients that should go in one, but a few aspects of this American institution aren't in dispute. Classic hoagies always use crusty, seeded Italian bread; they're dressed in olive oil -- never mayo -- for a moist, velvety mouth feel; they use sliced provolone as the cheese; and they always have a hot-pepper component, such as pickled cherry peppers, to provide the salty, spicy and sour taste sensations that sharply contrast the velvety richness of the fat in the main ingredient: salumi, or Italian cold cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeded freshly made Italian roll, 9 inches or larger
  • Extra-virgin olive oil or sandwich spread
  • Sliced cheese
  • Protein, such as salumi or roast beef
  • Vegetables, such as lettuce and pickled peppers

Classic Italian

  • Open up the hoagie roll, like a book, and pull out some of the bread from the interior to make room for the filling.

  • Spoon a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on the inside of the roll and smear it to cover the bread with the back of the spoon. You want olive oil to moisten every bite so no dry, chewy pieces of bread remain. Add a couple drizzles of white-wine vinegar, if desired.

  • Layer sliced provolone cheese on both sides of the bread, overlapping the pieces slightly to cover the surface entirely. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cheese, if desired.

  • Layer the salumi over the interior of the open roll. Use as much or as little salumi as you like, but layer it evenly and alternate the types of meat to get a taste of everything in each bite.

    You can choose from thousands of salumi varieties, but hoagie classics include mortadella, capicola, milanese, soppressata and salami.

  • Shred fresh iceberg lettuce with a knife and cover the salumi with a 1/2- to 1-inch-thick layer. Add sliced white onion rings, 1/4 inch thick or less, and 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick sliced beefsteak tomatoes over the onions, if desired.

  • Add a hot pepper product to taste over the lettuce and tomatoes; any pickled hot or sweet sliced pepper works here, except jalapenos.

  • Tear a palmful of fresh oregano leaves over the filling and follow with freshly ground black pepper. Spoon a couple more tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over all the ingredients and serve as soon as possible.

Hoagie Variations

  • Open up the hoagie roll, like a book, and pull out some of the bread from the interior to make room for the filling.

  • Smear a sauce over the entire surface of the bread to make every bite moist. Mayonnaise, Italian salad dressing and olive oil and vinegar are a few choices, but select one that pairs well with the protein.

  • Add slices of cheese to the hoagie, if desired. Layer the cheese evenly.

  • Add the protein to the hoagie. Again, the choices are nearly endless: shaved or thinly sliced roast beef, baked chicken breast or thighs, turkey and cold cuts. Whatever you choose, layer it evenly and uniformly in the bun.

  • Heat the hoagie in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes if you want to serve it hot.

  • Add cold items, such as lettuce, tomato and onions, to taste. Add garnishes, such as diced bacon, peppers, fresh herbs and pickles, if desired. Serve the hoagie as soon as possible.

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