A Cubano is usually made up of a couple of slices of pork loin, some ham, cheese, and pickles with mustard on a fresh white bun. Yah - it's tasty, but given its All-Star ingredients (two types of pork man!) I always felt it under-performed a bit. With one pork loin leftover from my experiment a few weeks back sitting in the freezer I figured I'd use it as the base for my own spin on the Cubano classic.
Instead of ham I substituted pancetta, which I cooked up in a grill pan:
Stepping in for the pickle slices was some raddichio, which I grilled as well to take away some of its bitterness.
Next I whipped up a quick garlic mayo and slapped it all together in a fresh whole-wheat bun. Add a salad (my wife's idea) and a rhubarb soda (my wife's good idea) and there you have it: the Uptown Cubano:
Oops -- forgot the token pickles on the side. Let's try that again....
I demand my close-up!:
Humility aside (y'know, because I'm known far and wide for being humble) this is a really, really good sandwich: it's succulent, salty, sweet, garlicky --- and I even forgot to add the avocado which my wife insists would have made this nosh a true All-Star. The Steve Nash of sammys!
Here's the recipe:
Uptown Cubano Sandwich
One crusty soft white(ish) bun
Three slices of smoked pork tenderloin (recipe here)
Two slices of crispy pancetta
One ripe avocado
Salt and pepper
1- 2 Garlic cloves (to taste)
1) Make garlic mayo: chop garlic very fine and mix with about 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Let site for 15 min.
2) Grill pancetta on a grill pan or BBQ; set aside.
3) Slice Radicchio (including core) into 1/2 inch slices. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
4) Grill on a grill pan or BBQ until soft and showing grill marks.
5) Slice avocado.
6) Sandwich assembly:
Slice the buns, spread on garlic mayo to taste, add pork, pancetta, radicchio and avocado.
Serve with a pickle on the side, and a lightly dressed green salad.