A Jazzed Up Modern Cuban Sandwich!
In the old days of American diner cuisine the Corned Beef Special was a popular sandwich. A Corned Beef Special is a cold sandwich made with corned beef and cole slaw on rye bread or pumpernickel bread. Later on, the Roast Beef Special and Turkey Special became popular too. On a hot summer day, a Special was a simple refreshing sandwich!
A warm version of the Corned Beef Special was popular in diners too and this sandwich is called a Rachel. A Rachel is basically Reuben Sandwich that is made with cole slaw instead of sauerkraut. A Cuban Sandwich that is made with slaw can be designated with the Rachel name too.
Just like a Reuben, a Rachel Sandwich requires some saucy spread. German Mustard or Thousand Island Dressing are classic choices. In recent years fancy flavored mustard sauces have been en vogue in the gourmet street food scene. Today's Sun Dried Tomato Mustard has a zesty rich flavor that tastes good with Cuban style roast pork
Jicama Slaw is one of the most refreshing tropical cole slaws that there is! Jicama Slaw is usually made with a light vinaigrette instead of mayonnaise. Jicama Slaw adds a light crisp flavor to today's Cuban Rachel Sandwich creation.
Cuban Style Roasted Pork:
This recipe yields about 16 ounces of Cuban style roast pork. (Enough for 4 sandwiches.)
Step 1: Place 1 cup of thin sliced onion on a roasting pan.
Place 4 whole garlic cloves on the onions.
Place a 16 ounce piece of pork shoulder on the onions.
Spread 1/2 cup of thin sliced onion on top of the pork.
Step 2: Drizzle 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil over the pork and onions.
Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cumin over the pork and onions.
Step 3: Slow roasting pan in a 275ºF oven.
Slow roast the pork till fully cooked and tender. (The onions and garlic will caramelize to a dark color and this adds plenty of flavor!)
Step 4: Allow the roast pork to rest and cool to room temperature.
Thin slice the roast pork.
*About 4 ounces of sliced roast pork are needed per sandwich.
Sun Dried Tomato Mustard:
This recipe yields about 1/2 cup. (Enough for about 4 sandwiches.)
This sandwich spread is easy to make and the flavor is rich.
Step 1: Place 2 cups of water in a small sauce pot over low heat.
Add 7 sun dried tomato halves.
Gently simmer till the sun dried tomatoes are soft and fully reconstituted.
Step 2: Remove the soft sun dried tomatoes from the liquid and place them on a cutting board.
Very finely mince the tomatoes.
Step 3: Place the minced sun dried tomatoes in a small mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 cup of Dijon Mustard.
Mix the ingredients together.
Step 4: Place the Sun Dried Tomato Mustard in a container.
Chill the fancy mustard in a refrigerator for 1 hour, so the flavors meld.
This recipe yields 2 cups. (Enough for 4 to 5 sandwiches.)
Step 1: Place 2 cups of julienne sliced peeled jicama in a mixing bowl.
Add a few very thin julienne sliced carrot strips for color.
Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
Step 3: Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice.
Add 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar.
Toss the ingredients together.
Step 4: Chill the Jicama Slaw for 10 minutes, so the flavors meld.
Toss the ingredients together before serving
Cuban Rachel with Jicama Slaw & Sun Dried Tomato Mustard:
This recipe yields 1 sandwich.
Cuban Bread is easy to find at grocery stores in Florida, but it can be difficult to find elsewhere. Cuban Bread is a milk enriched bread that has a thin crust. Mexican Bolillo, Hoagie Rolls or Soft Italian Sub Rolls are good substitutes.
Step 1: Split an 8" long piece of Cuban Bread in half lengthwise.
Place a few thin slices of Swiss Cheese one half of the bread.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of the Sun Dried Tomato Mustard on the cheese.
Step 2: Place 2 thin slices of smoked ham on the cheese and sauce. (About 1 to 2 ounces. The ham is traditionally only added for flavor.)
Place 4 ounces of the thin sliced Cuban Style Roasted Pork on the ham.
Step 3: Spread about 1/2 cup of the Jicama Slaw on the pork.
Place a few thin slices of Swiss Cheese on the Jicama Slaw.
Place the top half of the bread on the sandwich.
Step 4: Heat a Cuban Sandwich Griddle to 275ºF. (Or heat a cast iron griddle over medium/medium low heat.)
Lower the top of the Cuban Sandwich Griddle and press the sandwich flat. (For a cast iron griddle, press the sandwich flat with an aluminum foil wrapped brick.)
Grill the sandwich till the bread is toasted crusty and the cheese melts.
Step 5: Place the sandwich on a cutting board and cut it in half.
Place the Cuban Rachel on a plate.
Garnish with cilantro sprigs and a dill gherkin pickle.
This is a very tasty modern Cuban Sandwich creation!