Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Cuban Sandwich inspired by the movie, Chef

I watched the most amazing movie last week called "Chef".  Have you seen it?  I've attached the official trailer below!

Not to give too much away, but the 2014 "dramedy" was written, produced and directed by Jon Favreau and has an all-star cast including, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman and John Leguizamo.

Favreau plays a professional chef who, after an altercation with a food critic, quits his job at a popular Los Angeles restaurant and returns to his hometown of Miami to fix up a food truck.

Rolling Stone gave the film 3.5 out of 4 starts and I thought it was definitely a 4 star...funny, heartfelt and entertaining movie.  Please check it out when you have time.

The Cubano or Cuban Sandwich is the basis for the food truck and so I researched and found the most perfect (and simple) recipe.

A Cuban sandwich is quite simply a variation of a ham and cheese originally created in cafes catering to Cuban workers in immigrant communities around Miami, Florida.

While there is some debate as to the contents of a "true" Cuban sandwich, the origin is just as murky.  In the late 1800s travel between Cuba and Florida was easy, especially from Key West and Cubans frequently sailed back and forth for employment or pleasure.  It is believed that the sandwich was a common lunch food for workers in Cuba as well as in the cigar factories of Key West.  By 1860, Historian Loy Glenn Westfall states that the sandwich was "born in Cuba and educated in Key West".

By the 1960s, the Cuban sandwich was common in Miami cafeterias and on restaurant menus as the city gained a large influx of Cuban residents after Fidel Castro's 1959 rise to power.

Here is a recipe I found while researching Cuban food.


Original Cuban Sandwich


1 loaf Cuban bread* (you might try a French roll if a bakery in your area does not have)
1/2 stick butter, softened
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 1/2 lbs deli ham, sliced
1 1/2 pounds roasted pork, sliced
1 lbs Swiss cheese, sliced
1 cup dill pickle chips


Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on one half of the bread loaf and a thin layer or mustard on the other.  Place 1-2 layers of ham, pork and cheese on the buttered bread.  Top with pickles.  Place the mustard spread piece of bread on top.

Smear the rest of the butter all over the outside of the sandwich and wrap it completely in aluminum foil.

Heat grill to high.  Before grilling the sandwich, press down on it with your hands to flatten.  Place the wrapped sandwich on the grill and top with a brick (if you have something like the Griddler or a panini press, then you are in a better position).  Close the lid and grill for 5-6 minutes.

Remove the wrapped sandwich from the grill and take off the foil.  Return the sandwich to the grill and grill for about 2-3 minutes per side or until the bread is crispy and golden brown.

Remove the sandwich from the grill, cut at an angle and place on a platter and serve while hot.

*Cuban bread - made from white flour, yeast and a bit of lard.  This bread has a very thin crust and is soft in the middle with tunnels

Movie Trailer!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

42/52: Pumpkin Patch

Last Saturday, Brian and I met up with our friends, Sonja and Geoff for our annual trek out to the pumpkin patch in Snohomish, Washington.

We managed to snap a few pictures before a monsoon hit us, but we still mucked around in the mud and found a few pumpkins to take home.

No sooner did we get in the car to head into Snohomish for lunch, when the rains ended and the sunshine came out.  The rest of the day was absolutely beautiful and Sunday we set a record high in Seattle for the 19th of October with 73 degrees!!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: October 20-23, 2014

Happy Monday!

It's a super-crazy-unbelievably busy week ahead with doctors appointments, pet sitting, work audits and an early morning plane ride on Friday to Chicago!

Whew!  How to get it all in and still eat sensibly!?  Make a plan and stick to it.  Here is our plan for the week!

Remember to check out Laura's site for more planning ideas!


Monday: Spaghetti (from freezer) with a Side Salad and Bread Sticks
Tuesday: Grilled Ballpark Beef Hot Dogs with Chips (Game #1 of World Series)
Wednesday: Red Chicken Curry over Jasmine Rice
Thursday:  Kitchen is closed; finish packing for early morning flight!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Old Photo Friday: More Halloween Fun!

WHO: Stacy
WHAT: Halloween
WHERE: E Street in Springfield, OR
WHEN: Back of picture says 1979 (I was 10 years old)

This Halloween costume was all my Pop's idea.  This particular year, I went as a hobo.  Pop made the bindle (hobo stick) and he reached up into the fireplace and rubbed soot on my face so it looked like I had a beard.  He also smoked half a cigar and put it on a plastic filter for me to carry around.  What a creative Dad!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Eggs Creole

I don't watch a lot of television, but one of my new favorite shows on TV is NCIS: New Orleans.  I've never been to New Orleans before, but I would love to go...if for nothing else, to try the Creole Cuisine of Louisiana.

Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of cooking that blends French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Native American foods and cooking styles.  The Cajun's largely assimilated and adopted Creole cuisine as their own.  Although the Creole cuisine is closely identified with New Orleans today, much of it evolved in the country plantation estates so beloved of the pre-Civil War Creoles.

Generally, there are two types of Creole cuisine: Urban and Rural. Urban is observed and prepared for mainly tourists of New Orleans, while Rural Creole is usually hidden in the bayous and swamps of the old Creole Parishes/Acadiana or Creole Country.  

Since the 1980s, Rural Creole cuisine has largely been mistakenly labeled as Cajun cuisine.  The rise of southern American Cooking began to emerge in the 1980's, led by such cooks as Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse, bringing back the distinction between Creole and Cajun cuisine.

Classic Creole dishes include, Shrimp Remoulade, Oysters Bienville. Gumbo, Crawfish etouffee, Red Beans and Rice, Beignets and Bread Pudding.

On last week's episode of NCIS: New Orleans, Agent Pride cooked Eggs Creole with Remoulade Sauce so of course, I had to research and post (oh and in one scene they contemplated ordering bread pudding for dessert).

Eggs Creole


3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (or use a good chilli paste or red pepper flakes)
4 springs of fresh thyme
28 oz can plum tomatoes, break apart with hands
1/2 cup tomato juice (or V8)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro
4 large eggs 
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley


Preheat the oven to 350.

Heat oil in a large pan (ovenproof) and add the chopped onion.  Let it cook for 2 minutes, then add the ginger, garlic, chilli and thyme .  Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally as to not let the onions or herbs burn.

Add the can of tomatoes, the tomato juice and the chopped cilantro  Cook for 3-5 minutes to blend flavors.  Mix should simmer to a low boil.

Create 4 pockets in the tomato sauce and crack four eggs into the pan.  Let eggs cook for 1-2 minutes until the egg whites are starting to set.  Place the pan in the oven and cook until the eggs are softly cooked, but the yolks still runny (no longer than 1-2 minutes). 

To serve:  Scoop out each egg and 2-3 tablespoons of sauce.  Top with freshly chopped parsley and serve with cooked diced potatoes or a scoop of white rice and toast or a biscuit.

Image found of Google Images
Recipe is a mix of several egg dishes I found when Googling Eggs Creole
NCIS: New Orleans