July 2014


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I’m back again to talk about the Cubano–a sandwich so tasty, it deserves a few more pictures (and a song!) to tell its story.

Start with club rolls. Around here, let me save you a trip or two and tell you Tri-Town in Portland sells them. Stop & Shop and Price Chopper do not.

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Now, remember that pork tenderloin from the other day? Slice it. Then, send it on a quick trip in the microwave (about 20 seconds or so) to warm it up.

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Now, let’s load up the rolls: spread mustard on one side, then layer:

  • Swiss cheese (or provolone, if you prefer)
  • Thinly sliced ham (I used Boar’s Head habanero ham)
  • A Vlasic stacker
  • Pork

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And now, you’re ready to grill. Melt some butter in a pan and have another pan ready for pressing purposes.

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Do you like my fancy press? In case it’s hard to tell, it’s a frying pan covered by a teakettle filled with water for weight on top. And now, amici, we grill, flip, grill again and it’s time to eat! What else can I say but I like it like that! 

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I got my mojo back–and am back with mojo! If you’ve seen “Chef,” maybe you, too, were inspired by some of the food you saw in the movie and thought: I wanna eat that! Or maybe even, I wanna make that! And, if you haven’t seen the movie, puh-LEASE go out for something delicious to eat, then go see it.

Shortly after I saw “Chef,” I found an article with recipes from the movie. I used that as a jump-off point, crossed it with some good ideas from Epicurious, et voilà–a delicious mojo for pork tenderloin. A meal so nice, you’ll enjoy it twice–once as a main dish, and the next day as a delicious Cubano!

So, let’s get the party started with a “Bang Bang”–did I mention you’ll love the soundtrack, too?

MOJO PORK TENDERLOIN
adapted from Roy Choi, Matt Lee and Tedd Lee

Juice of 3 orange, zest of two of them = 1 1/2 cups juice
1 1/2 lemons and their zest = 1/4 cup juice
2 limes and their zest = 1/4 cup juice
2 tiny jalapeños, sliced thin (one normal jalapeno would be great)
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1/3 cup fresh oregano (I just bought a new hot & spicy oregano plant–highly recommend!), finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients. Set aside 2/3 cup of this mixture and refrigerate.

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Pour the rest into a sealable plastic bag (a gallon Hefty OneZip works beautifully) with two pounds of pork tenderloin.

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Let marinate about eight hours. Remove the pork from the bag and place on a large baking sheet. I put plenty of the chopped herbs, zest and jalapenos on top.

Cook in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F until the pork’s internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, then let the meat rest for three minutes before slicing. I have one of those handy thermometers that beeps outside the oven when it hits the set temperature. In my kitchen, that took somewhere between 30-35 minutes. But, don’t just take it from me, the National Pork Board will tell you no different!

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Don’t forget to serve with the 2/3 cup of mojo you set aside. Not only is it crazy delicious as a main meal–it’s a total treat as part of a delicious Cubano the next day.

CUBANOS (CUBAN SANDWICHES)

Club rolls (sorta like these)
Thinly sliced ham (try the habanero ham from Boar’s Head, NOM, NOM!)
Thinly sliced Swiss cheese (or provolone, if you prefer)
Vlasic Stacker dill pickles
Mustard (I prefer Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground)

Slice the rolls in half, spread one side with mustard. Place a layer of cheese, two slices of ham, several slices of warmed-up pork (send on a quick trip to the microwave) to go from end to end, then a pickle. You’re pretty much making a fancy Cuban grilled ham and cheese. Double the pig, double the fun!

Next, in a large frying pan, melt about a teaspoon or so of butter to coat the bottom. Swirl the sandwiches around to get ’em buttered up, then put another frying pan on top to press them. You can also weigh them down with a teakettle on top of the second frying pan. After a few minutes or so, add more butter and flip them over. Once again, press down. And now, we have Cubanos. ♬ BEEP-BEEP, HAAAAAAA! ♬

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