Viva la Cuba
Crazy late post on Cuba!! I wanted to remake my Cuban Sandwiches with a few alterations before posting.
Cuba has a ton of awesome foods, unfortunately we didn't have a huge turn out of contributors this week, so we got three things...Cubanos (Cuban sandwiches), Picadillo, and Bean Soup...which turned into kind of a bean dip/beans and rice. We also had a Cuban cocktail of rum and coke known as a Cubata, and a dessert of Pastelitos de Guayaba.
Everything was great, but I was longing for more options for sure.
There's our three things! This week I made the Cuban Sandwich and the Picadillo. Bean soup that turned bean dip over rice, piccadillo and a Cubano (Cuban Sandwich).
So when I picked Cuba I knew I was going to make a Cuban sandwich. I ate a ton of these growing up, and I have yet to have one since going veg. I didn't want anyone else to make it because I wanted it to hit certain nostalgia points and really had to have all control over the sandwich situation. First things first I need to make an amazing pork tenderloin. I made a standard chicken seitan but used some cumin and oregano to give it a cubanish flavor, and left out the poultry seasonings. After that I soaked the logs in a fresh mojo marinade. I roasted them whole then cut them, and felt they needed more, so I put the cut pieces back in the mojo. I used some ratios from a pork marinade, and found that it called for way too much oil for my liking. I used 1/2 cup! It was too much. Tasted good, but I don't think it was necessary. I ended up making another batch a few days later, more on that in a few...
This stuff was super amazing. Not only is seitan delightful on it's own, but this marinade set it off something special. Fresh orange juice and zest, fresh oregano, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, tons of garlic. So flavorful. I am currently tweaking this recipe to make it perfect. As I said before it had too much oil before, and then when I made it again, it was really good, but maybe would have been better with more oil? I really don't like cooking with too much oil, it doesn't agree with me.
Okay, so enough about the pork and onto the actual cubano. I picked up some Yves Ham from whole foods, and some Daiya Swiss and Cuban Loaf from Publix.
First things first, MUSTARD. A generuous slathering of mustard at the base. Then we pile on the ham slices, followed by the juicy amazing pork, dill pickle slices, swiss cheese, butter the bread and PRESS!
I cut them into fourths, but it wasn't enough to feed my crowd this Thursday. Really bummed me out as a host to not have enough for everyone, especially when it was a gem like this Cuban. A few guests said it was...
I'm honored, and I agree! This really was legit. I love proving there is nothing I love I can't still have.
I have a feeling my pork recipe will undergo a few alterations over the weeks/months/years, but nevertheless I have posted the recipe and you can find it here.... The Best (Vegan) Cuban You've Ever Had.
This is a recipe that was in heavy rotation when I first went veg. It was a random one I picked from a 1001 vegetarian recipe book I had since like 2001. It's a family favorite, a crowed pleaser, and when Lennon, my son, was a baby he would devour it. This was another one I was super excited about making when I decided on Cuba because I haven't made it since I started Meal Mentor, which has been 2 years at least. This particular version calls for TVP soaked in a concentrated veggie broth, tons of green olives, raisins and a bit of cinnamon. Along with peppers, onions, tomatoes and black beans this one is soooo tasty. It will have to make another appearance before 2 years passes!
Abby made a bean soup in the crockpot. It came out very thick, super tasty though! I had made some rice to go with the picadillo, but went ahead and donated it to her beans, in retrospect I should have made more rice, but whatevs it is what it is. She brought chips bc it was thick enough to be used as a dip.
..pastelitos de guayaba..
Some sweet treats brought to us by Julie. She always brings the sweetness!
Something I put together for cuban sandwiches, but deserves it's own recipe. I am going to be tweeking and altering this one to perfection.
- 1.5 cups broth
- 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 cups vital wheat gluten flour
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, large (or 8+ small)
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup mint
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
Whisk broth, oil and soy sauce.
In a large bowl whisk all the dry ingredients.
Add wet into dry and stir with a rubber spatula
Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
Let it rest for about 10 minutes, knead for another minute or so and form into two logs.
Wrap both logs in aluminum foil and twist the ends like a tootsie roll.
Steam for 30 minutes. I use an instant pot. I set to steam for 30 and let the pressure release naturally.
Remove from the steamer and let cool.
If you have a food processor, add the garlic, cilantro, mint, and oregano with the OJ and chop it all up. If not do it by hand! Mince it all as small as possible.
Pour mixture into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.
Add the mojo mix to the sliced pork. Let it marinate for at least 4 hours.
I used about 1 1/2 of the logs for this recipe. But I think you could use the whole thing if you want. They make a great snack! Click here for my Cubano assembly!
Use the Mojo Pork recipe to make this awesome sandwich come together.
- fresh Cuban bread
- Yves Ham or other Vegan Ham
- Mojo Pork Recipe
- Vegan Swiss Slices Original Chao would work well too
- Dill Pickle Slices
- Vegan Butter
Layer ingredients in this order. Mustard, Ham, Pork, Cheese, Pickles.
Spread butter on top and bottom of bread and press in a panini maker.
Cut into triangles.
Make as many or as little sandwiches as you like with this simple assembly. What makes this the best is the Mojo Pork Seitan.