Paseo’s Cuban Sandwich

I am obsessed with Paseo’s Cuban Sandwich. It’s just the perfect bite every bite – the tender roast beef, the sweet carmelized onions, the spicy jalapeno and the crunch of a fresh baguette. I love it so much that I want to be able to make it right at home. And I am not alone, a quick search found several posts from others who have done the same. Many no longer live in Seattle and recreates this in their kitchen to fill the void.

We rolled up our sleeves one weekend and decided to attempt this imitation to what is surely our favorite sandwich. Be warned this is a weekend effort – the roast pork takes overnight to prepare. But like all great foods, the wait was well worth it. The end result was heaven in every bite. There were still some differences with Paseo’s classic but it was very close and just as enjoyable.



Paseo Cuban Roast Pork Sandwich
from userealbutter.com

1 baguette (ideally something with a texture more like the bread used in banh mi)
garlic mayo (see below)
roast pork (see below)
2 large yellow onions
olive oil
lettuce
cilantro
pickled jalapeño peppers

roast pork
1 cup mango juice (or sub 1 cup orange juice)
2 cups orange juice
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
2 tbsps garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 oz. rum
3-4 lb. pork shoulder (bone in)

garlic mayo
1 bulb garlic
olive oil for drizzling
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
1/2 tbsp dill pickle relish

Make the pork: Combine the mango juice, orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, chopped garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and rum in a large vessel or ziploc bag. Place the pork in the vessel or bag and marinate for a minimum of 3 hours (but you’d do well to do 12 or even 24 hours). When the pork is ready, save the marinade and preheat the oven to 300°F. Sear the meat on all sides in a lightly greased frying pan or skillet until it’s nicely browned. Remove the pork to a baking dish (BUT DON’T WASH THE SKILLET/PAN – save it for later) and pour the marinade into the baking dish. Tent the meat with foil and bake for 2 hours. The original recipe said 45 minutes, but that didn’t get me to a fall-apart texture. Remove the foil and cook uncovered for another 2 hours, basting the meat with the marinade ever 15 minutes and turning the meat after an hour. Remove from oven when the meat is fork-tender and comes off the bone easily. Shred the pork with two forks.

Make the garlic mayonnaise: While the pork is cooking in the oven, slice the top off the garlic bulb and place it in a small baking dish or on a piece of foil that has been pulled up at the edges (to form a bowl). Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and bake in the oven (next to the pork) for thirty minutes or until the garlic is soft. Peel the skins off the garlic cloves and mash the garlic into a paste. Combine the garlic with mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice, and pickle relish. Stir until blended.

Caramelize the onions: Peel and slice the onions into 1/4-inch strips. Heat a little olive oil on medium flame in the same pan you used to sear the pork. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat when the onions are caramelized.

Assemble the goodness: Cut an 8-inch long piece of a baguette or other similarly shaped bread that has a nice, crusty outside and soft, chewy inside. Slice it in half, lengthwise. Spread garlic mayonnaise on both pieces of bread and bake or toast in the oven until the mayonnaise starts to bubble and puff. Remove from the oven. Layer the pork, onions, lettuce, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, and more garlic mayonnaise on one piece of the bread. Top with the other half of the bread and serve. The pork can probably yield a dozen sandwiches.

Orange and Balsamic Chicken

After a month of attending many out of town weddings, I was happy for a chance to settle back at home. This evening we had a chance to hit up the grocery store and stock up to make some hearty meals.

The recipe that caught my eye was orange and balsamic chicken. I love the tang in both orange and the balsamic, so this can’t go wrong right?

I got to try out a new cooking technique with this one – fry the chicken skin down to get it crispy, then stick the pan into the oven to finish the cooking. I have to say, this method was pretty divine, I think I want to use it for everything now, like with rack of lamb and steak! Also I rarely work with raw meat so I was glowing when I saw that the chicken was cooked just right – tender and juicy inside and crispy on the outside.

This whole thing was pretty quick to make, like 20min, just make sure you have a pan that can go into the oven. We made quick sides to go with it – mashed yam and cucumber tomato raddish salad with yogurt dressing.

Final result (still lots of work to do on the food photography front…)

Orange and Balsamic Chicken

from Everyday Food

Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
YieldServes 4

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 unpeeled orange, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden and crisp, 7 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and pour off fat from skillet. Return chicken, skin side up, to skillet and transfer to oven. Bake until cooked through, 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  2. Heat skillet over medium and add vinegar and orange wedges. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until orange begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. To serve, return chicken to skillet and toss with orange and sauce.