I hate leftovers. Well, hate is a strong word and it's kind of a lie because there are some leftovers I don't mind eating. OK, so that totally just blew up my initial sentence.
Anyhoo...I do like remaking leftovers that I'm tired of since I get bored easily. I get bored of lots of things easily...like when I talk. That's probably why I have such violent subject changes.
I digress. Big surprise.
After going to our friend's wetting down (he too became a Lieutenant Commander/O-4 in the Navy like my hubby) recently. His wife made Kalua pork. I had never had it, but LOVED it! So simple and yet, so good.
I recreated it and made it supposedly the authentic way with shredded cabbage. Unfortunately, I also used a lean cut of pork since I didn't want all the fat of a pork butt. For Jaron's party...I'll be using the butt (aka the shoulder of the piggy). It turned out well still...but not as tender. I wasn't surprised and still trying to think which was more important for my fam...healthy or a little less delicious. The former won.
Did I mention how ridiculously easy it was to make??? Take the pork, rub it with sea salt (I used Kosher), pour a bottle of liquid smoke on it, and set it & forget it in a slow-cooker. Yeaaaaaaaah. Shred that bad boy up, add shredded cabbage (if you like), and cook it until the cabbage is tender.
Anyhoo...Kaia and I love Cuban sandwiches. I grew up eating them & media noches whenever we'd visit my mom's fam in Miami. I just introduced the kids to them last year before we left FL. Jaron, not being a big fan of sandwiches then, thought it was just aight. Kaia totally *hearted* them.
So, with 1.5 hours to go before party time and my still needing to buy the birthday boy a present and make myself look semi-presentable...I went into overdrive. I did not make these sandwiches authentic, but aimed for getting the taste as close as possible. A real, delicious Cuban sandwich starts with possibly THE most important ingredient....Cuban bread. Mmmmmmmmmm. You have to try this bread. It is just some yummy goodness. There is the requisite roast pork, ham, pickles, swiss cheese, and mustard. Most of the Cubans I've had have been buttered on the outside and pressed hot...like a grilled cheese. I really hate to make any ethnic food unless I've tried the real thing and get a good idea of the right spices, cooking technique, etc. Still, I was hankering for a Cuban and figured the leftover Kalua pork would make a pretty close version of the sandwich.
I made my pseudo-not-authentic-but-close-to-the-taste Cuban with sliced La Brea wheat bread, buttered on the outside (with Smart Balance), a shmear of yellow mustard, slice of Swiss cheese, and the leftover shredded Kalua pork...we left out the pickles because we didn't have any and the kids don't like 'em.
Grill to perfection and enjoy...'cause we did!
We served it with my grandfather's cabbage salad. Mmmmmmmmmm.
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