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!!