Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Cuban Sandwich.

Another one you missed.



Here is the RIGHT way to do this.

Start by slicing pickles. NOT the sweet kind, and (ideally) not the ones that sit at room temperature. You need the crunch. I'spose you could get away with the pre-sliced ones, but I like my surface:mass ratio just so, and the Pickle Industrial Complex will not comply.
Take Cuban bread, or Cuban rolls or, if you live in the provinces, something in the egg bread family (which turns this from a Cubano to a Medianoche, but whatever.) split them and mustardize them. The classic choice is plain ol' yellow mustardbut I like the "deli" style mustard better. You do whatever you want. Some people, bless them, like mayonnaise in this sandwich. It's NOT correct, nor authentic, but whatever.
Then you lay down your pickle coverage. I love pickles, so I practically TILE the bloody thing.
Over the pickles you'll need to place a layer of ham. Since I am an insufferable foodie, I use prosciutto (but not the hyper-fancy stuff). Either way, you want to make sure it's sliced so thin, as to be translucent. This allows you to plop it down in a wavy sort of way, which is key to get the right sort of chew and mouthfeel.
Next,the swiss cheese. Yes, it must be swiss cheese. Or, if you're insufferable as I am, Swiss cheese (Emmentaler is a teeny bit preferable to Gruyere, but either is wonderful.)
To get the right melting action, you will need to grate it. Yes, slices will work okay, but by the time the cheese is melted, the bread will be too dry and brittle.
Shredding it in the food processor is fine, but yields bad photos. So I hand grated. Just for YOU, Internet. Scoop it up and get ready to apply to the sandwich.
Like so.
If you like to give the cheese a head start on the melting -- or you are a raving pyro -- you can use a kitchen torch.
Now, take your leftover roast pork (ideally a very citrus/garlic intensive roast pork, although that can be doctored up) which you have warmed up to about 125F (this is important) if you have roasted it properly, it should shred into luxuriant, pillowy nuggets of porcine goodness.Assemble atop the cheese (cold side cold, warm side warm). You want about a 3:2 pork:ham ratio. So that your whole assemblage looks like this.
Fold the bread around the filling. Place in a panini/sanwich press or, if you have a whole battalion to feed, use a griddle set to medium-high, buttered lightly -- DO NOT USE MARGARINE -- and toast the cheese side first until it JUST melts, and then flip over to warm the other side.

Posted by Joke at 4:53 PM 7 comments

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A history lesson.

More from the mo(u)ldering crypt of posts which didn't get auto-posted.



It's 1521. You're a chieftain of some lovely Pacific island. You have the most women, the biggest hut, your pick of outrigger canoes. Life is good. Then some big ships show up. "Great. MORE Europeans." The Europeans make friends with your rival chieftain from the other side of the island. You snub everyone. The Europeans take the snub as a snub and choose to attack you. But they misjudge the tide and leap into water waist deep in full armor, and too far to use their weapons.

You slaughter them all, especially the leader.

That leader was Magellan. Immortalized by the Magellan Straits and also that GPS* thingy, among other things.


You're chief Lapu-Lapu and, instead, you're immortalized by a tiki drink served in a cored-out pineapple, most famously at Walt Disney World's Polynesian Resort's Tambu Lounge. This past Labor Day** we went to this very spot. TFBIM had the selfsame beverage. Verily she loved it and has developed a fondness therefor and I was commissioned to replicate it.

Like so.

You start off with a pineapple. Note the corer. US$3 on eBay. Before I get more carried away with this, let me say I cannot say enough good things about this cheap-o corer. Yes, you can get fancier ones, made of stainless steel with sharper blades and finer teeth. These will give you less jagged pineapple rings, if that means that much to you. I, personally, couldn't care less about the aesthetic qualities of the the extra 600% premium isn't worth it.

You lop the top off, much like Lapu-Lapu's warriors seemed to have preferred. (Hence the name?)

All you have to do to core out the pineapple is center the corer right on the, er, core of the pineapple and drive the corer in, twisting with slight downward pressure. When you get down as far as you want, you pull up as with a manual corkscrew.

Et voilà

TIP: Place the pineapple being cored inside bowl of some kind, as there WILL be juice spouting forth generously and you want to capture said juice. This will also keep your wife from exhibiting displeasure.

1 Tbsp Simple "2:1" syrup

1 Tbsp Passion fruit syrup (50-50 passion fruit pulp and 2:1 sugar syrup)

1 Tbsp Orgeat

2 oz Orange juice (absent any fresh-squeezed, of all the supermarket brands, I suggest Florida Natural)

2 oz Pineapple juice (absent any fresh-squeezed -- you'll recall I said above you wanted the fresh juice -- I suggest Dole; this scenario presumes you're making this in a regular glass)

2 oz Dark rum (Bacardi 8 in this case)

2 oz White Rum (I like Cruzan Aged Light, but I was trying to finish up the Bacardi Silver)

[Picture would have gone here, but NOS was getting hollered at by TFBIM.]

Put this all in a shaker with about 6oz of cracked ice. Then you shake...

...and shake. Until the tin of the shaker frosts over.

TIP: With any drink calling for syrups, juices, etc. and you're only using ONE measuring vessel (i.e. a jigger or shot glass) do so in this order: syrups THEN juices THEN any flavored liquors or liqueurs THEN the spirits.

And here you are.
(all photos -- both the excellent and the ones which proved unusable -- courtesy of Numbah One Son)


* SatNav to the rest of the Anglosphere.

** First Monday in September to the rest of the Anglosphere.

Posted by Joke at 6:54 PM 0 comments