Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cuban Sandwich

Tampa, not Miami, is the birthplace of the Cuban Sandwich (Thank you very much!) Boy, I miss being able to pick up a Cuban Sandwich from any corner store - you can't go a mile without running into a sandwich that is even better than the last one. Everyone has their favorite spot to pick one up. Here is a great recipe from Food Network.



For the Pork:
5 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
8 large cloves garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 bay leaves
For the Sandwich:
1 9-inch piece Cuban bread
4 thin slices glazed ham (about 4 ounces)
3 to 4 thin slices Genoa salami with peppercorns (about 1 ounce)
2 thin slices Swiss cheese (about 1 ounce)
2 pickle slices
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
Unsalted butter, softened, for cooking
Prepare the pork: Cut small slits all over the meat with a knife and put skin-side down in a roasting pan. Mix the lime juice and orange juice in a measuring cup. Transfer 1/4 cup juice mixture to a food processor; add the garlic, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pulse to make a paste. Rub over the pork and into the slits. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup juice over the pork; press the bay leaves on top. Cover and refrigerate 3 to 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Turn the pork skin-side up and roast until a thermometer inserted into the middle registers 160 degrees F, about 2 hours, 30 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. (Refrigerate leftover pork in an airtight container up to 1 week.)

Make the sandwich: Cut the bread in half lengthwise. Layer the ham, 3 thin slices roast pork, the salami, cheese and pickles on the bottom half. Spread the mustard on the inside of the top half. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Butter the outside of the sandwich, then add to the pan and put a heavy skillet on top to weigh it down; cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side (or cook in a sandwich press). Cut in half on the diagonal.

In any Cuban sandwich, mojo-marinated pork is key. Look for bottled marinade in Latin markets, or try this recipe from Tampa's legendary Columbia Restaurant.

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