Cubano

Cubano

OK Every time I go to Tampa office there is this little restaurant in a strip mall that I insist on going to, I always get the Cuban sandwich. So as I watched the Pats defeat Tampa Bay last week I munched on this sandwich. I pretty much followed theirs but made a mistake in the rub and used whole grain mustard instead of ground. I was off just a little bit all weekend. Hey that’s a good excuse to try the pork again right?

Cubano Epicurious | August 2013

by Jose Garces
The Latin Road Home

Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches

ingredients

Roast Pork

  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt + 1 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground mustard
  • 2 lb boneless pork shoulder, tied in an even roll
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Spanish smoked sweet paprika

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Sandwich

  • 4 (6-inch) light crisp-crusted bakery rolls
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 lb best-quality domestic ham (unglazed), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 lb Swiss or Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 large dill pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter

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preparation

To cure the pork, combine 2 tablespoons of the salt with the sugar and ground mustard. Rub the mixture all over the meat, cover, and set it in the refrigerator to cure for 6 hours.

Place a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325°F.

To roast the pork, rinse it under cold running water to remove the seasoning. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine the Dijon mustard, mace, black pepper, paprika, and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Rub the mixture all over the meat. Set the pork in a roasting pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 175°F, about 45 minutes. (Mine took much longer) Allow the meat to cool completely before slicing.

To make the sandwiches, heat a sandwich press or griddle to medium-high. Split the bread lengthwise and pull it open. Spread the mustard on 1 side of each roll and layer on the roast pork, ham, cheese, and pickles. Spread the butter all over the outside of the sandwiches and griddle until the cheese is melted and the meats are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, wrap the sandwich in foil and toast in a 350°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes.) Slice each in half on the diagonal and serve.

You can press this as I did, eat it un-pressed or if you don’t have a press take two bricks wrap in tin foil heart in 500 degree oven for about 1/2 hour and use those to press.

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Source Information
Reprinted with permission from The Latin Road Home by Jose Garces, © 2012 Lake Isle Press

Epicurious.com © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lazy, Crazy days of Summer set in on me

Lazy, Crazy days of Summer set in on me

Some of this summer’s adventures in cooking

Lazy, Crazy days of Summer set in on me, more the lazy when it came to posting so here is a catch up. This is more for me I can look at the pictures and say OH yeah that was good remember  how I did it and repeat.

Quick Pickled Radishes

Quick Pickled Radishes

Ingredients

Radishes sliced with wise

Apple cider vinegar

White vinegar

I added some julienned carrots for color and sweetness

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Slice the radishes

Combine vinegar and sugar in jar shake to mix

Add radishes and carrots refrigerate at least overnight but after 2 days it is best.

Roasted Spiced Pork, Figs and Onions

Roasted Spiced Pork, Figs and Onions

We made this in June or July but I have been taking the summer the way it should be laying back and relaxing so no posting. Today is the first official day of Fall so here I am. Lyn found this recipe in Prevention Magazine so we tried. The first time I had rather large onions and the slices in my opinion were too large so the next time I sliced thinner and it worked out nicely. Also I would quarter the figs length wise my mind automatically goes the opposite. This was not only fast – good for a week night meal-but tasty.

Note the first time we made I had no red onions just sweet white so we tried anyway both were good but I prefer the red.

Prep to table about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Red Onions  – cut into eighths or sixteenths depending on size of onion (also tried sweet white)
  • 6 fresh figs – quarter
  • 1 lbs. trimmed pork tenderloin sliced ¼” slices
  • ¾ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. each salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dry red wine

Sorry did not have picture of ingredients with red onions

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How:

Combine the cumin, salt and pepper in plastic bag add pork and toss to coat

Heat fry pan (cast iron would work best) with olive oil spray over medium-high heat.

Add pork and cook, turning, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes.

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Transfer to plate, cover and keep warm.

Coat skillet with olive oil spray and cook onions and figs stirring until tender, about 7 minutes.  May take a little longer if you are not using a cast iron pan.

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Add ½ cup dry red wine and cook until reduced to 2 Tbsp., about 2 minutes.

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Serve alongside pork on platter.

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Joe’s Blueberry Pie

Joe’s Blueberry Pie

I remember as a kid we used to go to Auntie D’s house to make pies. The adults, under her direction, would all be busy making pie after pie Apple, Blueberry, mixed berry…….. she was and still is in everyone’s mind the measuring stick when it came to pies. Across the street there was a path in the woods, long since taken over by development, to the cranberry bogs and along the way was a gold mine of blueberry bushes. Big fat blueberries all there for the picking. Now this was the important job of the kids fill the buckets and eating our fill. The thought of one of her pies after dinner kept us under control and the buckets returned full. A few years back my wife and I went blueberry picking in Beebe Woods and quickly retreated because of the immediate and massive horse fly attack we fell to. That sure took the romanticism out of picking, there they were bushes, branches plump with hundreds of blueberries under the guard of a flying army. We did find the nearest convenient store and sprayed ourselves but it was just not the same. Anyway I babble…..Joe and I were talking about me buying 4 cases of blueberries from Wholefoods when they had them organic $1.99 a pint. I froze some, made some blueberry syrup, jam, Lyn made muffins and probably bread but mostly I would throw a handful in my morning oatmeal taking advantage of the memory boosting powers of blueberries. They are gone except for a bottle or two of the syrup and I am staring to have trouble remembering why I started writing this  only kidding….so hear ya go  Joe’s Blueberry pie.

Cooks Illustrated Published July 1, 1995.  

Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 6 to 8.

Why this recipe works:

For many years we have tried using flour and cornstarch to thicken fresh fruit pies, but the results have been uniformly poor. After testing cornstarch, flour, tapioca, and arrowroot, we found that the samples of fruit thickened with the root starches, arrowroot and tapioca, were clear and bright in appearance and had the clearest fruit flavor. Of the two, tapioca showed a bit more thickening power and was therefore our favorite. So we developed a fruit pie recipe employing this favorite.

The amount of sugar and tapioca you use is relative, depending on the fruit’s quality and your taste. If you prefer a less sweet pie or if the fruit is especially sweet, use the lower sugar amount. If you like your pie juices fairly thick, or if the fruit is really juicy, then opt for the higher amount of tapioca. If you are using frozen fruit, measure it frozen, but let it thaw before filling the pie. If not, you run the risk of partially cooked fruit and undissolved tapioca.

Joe's Blueberry Pie

Joe’s Blueberry Pie

Ingredients

  • Pie Dough
  • 2 1/4cups unbleached all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • 2tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 11tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 7tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled
  • 1/3cup water , chilled with ice, increasing up to 3/8 cup, if needed
  • Blueberry Filling
  • 3pints fresh blueberries (6 cups), rinsed and picked over
  • 3/4cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small lemon , zested to yield 1 teaspoon zest and juiced to yield 2 teaspoons juice
  • 1/4teaspoon ground allspice
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 3–4tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into small pieces

Instructions

1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with a little flour. Cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue to cut it in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon of remaining ice water if dough does not come together. Divide dough into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into 4-inch-wide disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap separately in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

3. Remove dough from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss fruit with sugar, lemon juice and zest, spices, and tapioca; let stand for 15 minutes.

4. Roll larger dough disk on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Transfer and fit dough into 9-inch Pyrex pie pan, leaving dough that overhangs the lip in place. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into pie shell. Scatter butter pieces over fruit. Refrigerate until ready to top with remaining dough.

5. Roll smaller disk on lightly floured surface into 10-inch circle. Lay over fruit. Trim top and bottom dough edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute dough in your own fashion, or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits at right angles on dough top to allow steam to escape. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes before baking.

6. Place pie on baking sheet; bake until top crust is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

7. Transfer pie to wire rack; let cool to almost room temperature so juices have time to thicken, from 1 to 2 hours.

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The Apple of My Pie

When making our blueberry pie filling, we found that if we used more than 2 tablespoons of tapioca, the texture of the filling took on a gummy consistency we didn’t like. But 2 tablespoons or less resulted in a filling that was too loose. Could we solve this problem with pectin, a gentle thickener that occurs naturally in fruit?

EXPERIMENT

As a control, we thickened one pie with 2 tablespoons tapioca. We then compared it with a second pie thickened with 2 tablespoons tapioca and a grated apple, which is high in pectin and has a mild flavor. (We hoped that grating the apple would make it less noticeable in the baked pie.)

RESULTS

As expected, the pie thickened with tapioca alone was loose and soupy. But the pie thickened with tapioca plus an apple had a naturally gelled texture that was just right. The apple bits seemed to melt into the berry filling during baking, boosting fruity flavor but leaving no textural sign of their presence.

EXPLANATION

Pectin is a natural substance, found in fruits and vegetables, that creates structure in a plant by helping to bind its cell walls together. This same substance is used to thicken jams and jellies into a set, but soft, mass. Pectin content varies from fruit to fruit and also within a plant (more pectin is found in the skin of a fruit than in its flesh, for example). Apples are a great source of pectin because they contain high levels of high-methoxy pectin, the best natural pectin for making gels. By mashing some of the blueberries and grating the apple, we helped to release the pectin from the fruits’ cell walls so that it could thicken the pie filling.

loose

ON THE LOOSE
Pie filling thickened without enough tapioca won’t firm up. But too much tapioca leads to gumminess.

firm

ALL FIRMED UP
A little tapioca plus a grated apple created a juicy but sliceable filling.

I have some bushes in back yard and only wish that they looked like this, I share with the birds, although got a fake owl this year and actually got a few pints

I

Other related posts from stevesacooking

Glazed Blueberry Chicken

Blueberry oatmeal bread

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins and Pepper Biscuits

Lyn’s Blueberry Oatmeal pancakes

Basic Recipe for Greek Salad Dressing

Basic Recipe for Greek Salad Dressing

The simplest of all salad dressings is a drizzle of Greek extra virgin olive oil and wedges of lemon on the side – squeeze to taste. For salads with feta cheese like the Greek Salad, I recommend straight olive oil (with a little water). For salads with cucumber, I like oil and vinegar.

Greek-Salad-

Ingredients

For 1 cup of dressing:

  •  3/4 cup of Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of good quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of crushed Greek oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • a pinch of pepper.

greek salad

How:

Whisk together in a bowl, or place in a tightly covered jar and shake to combine. The dressing will turn a light color with a creamy texture as the oil and vinegar combine.

Tip Add Dill: add 1 teaspoon of dried dill to the dressing nice touch!

One of my favorite herbs is oregano

One of my favorite herbs is oregano

One of my favorite herbs is oregano especially dried but it is used fresh. I don’t know what it is I just love the stuff had it in my tuna fish sandwich at lunch today, my wife says it’s good on pizza but…. There are three common types: Origanum heracleoticum (Greek Oregano), Origanum majorna (sweet marjoram) and Origanum vulgare(wild marjoram, common marjoram, etc.; seems like this sub-species is very common).

Greek%20Oregano

I like Greek oregano so I wanted more and found this info at About.com

Greek name and pronunciation:

Rigani, ρίγανη, pronounced REE-gah-nee

At the market:

Oregano is sold fresh and dried as cuttings of flower tops and leaves packaged in disposable containers or as dried, ground leaves packaged in sprinkle-pour bottles.

Caution: Not all oreganos are equal. Greek oregano (rigani) is a subspecies with the latin name Origanum vulgare (previously Origanum heracleoticum or Oreganum heraclites). Look at oregano package labeling to identify it.

Physical characteristics:

Greek Oregano, in bloom, reaches a height of almost two feet. Like all culinary oreganos, its flower is white. Its leaves are coarse, oval, and fuzzy. Leaves are about 5/8 inch long; they are dark green when fresh and light green when dried.

Usage:

In Greek cooking, oregano is used in tomato sauces, with meats, fish, cheese, egg dishes, salads, cheeses, and with vegetables including tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans. It is also used to prepare a tea that is believed to be a treatment for indigestion, coughs, and to stimulate menstruation.

Dried orgegano

Substitutes:

Marjoram (three parts of marjoram for two parts of oregano), thyme, basil, summer savory

Origin, History, and Mythology:

Today, several varieties of oregano are grown in many different parts of the world, from seeds planted in light, dry, and well-drained soils. Historically, as the name implies, Greek oregano originates on the mountain slopes of Greece. It continues to be an important erosion-control plant: its roots reduce soil erosion on mountain slopes. Greek hillsides covered with summer’s growth of wild oregano in bloom are a fantastic excursion for eyes, feet, and nose!

The name “oregano” means “joy of the mountain” and has its origins in the ancient Greek “oros” (mountain) and “ganos” (joy).

According to Greek mythology, the sweet, spicy scent of oregano was created by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness. In ancient Greece, bridal couples were crowned with garlands of oregano. Oregano plants were placed on tombs to give peace to departed spirits. It was also used as a laxative because of its cathartic effect.

Oregano’s power to heal has been known for centuries. It has powerful bacteria and fungi killing properties. It is used as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory. Oregano tea is a treatment for indigestion, coughs, and to stimulate menstruation. The oil of oregano is used for toothache, and in some cosmetics. The leaves and flowering stems are natural antiseptics because of high thymol content.

diced tomatoe and oregano

Then at whfoods.org if found this info..

 

The warm, balsamic and aromatic flavor of oregano makes it the perfect addition to Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. This popular herb whose name means “mountain joy” is available throughout the year.

Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. It is a small shrub with multi-branched stems covered with small grayish-green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers. In Mediterranean climates oregano grows as a perennial plant, but in the harsher climates of North America, they grow as annuals……..

Health Benefits

You may have seen a bottle marked “oil of oregano” in a health food store. There are good reasons why!

Oregano

An Effective Anti-Bacterial

The volatile oils in this spice include thymol and carvacrol, both of which have been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus . In Mexico, researchers have compared oregano to tinidazol, a commonly used prescription drug to treat infection from the amoeba Giardia lamblia. These researchers found oregano to be more effective against Giardia than the commonly used prescription drug.

Potent Anti-Oxidant Activity

Oregano contains numerous phytonutrients—including thymol and rosmarinic acid—that have also been shown to function as potent antioxidants that can prevent oxygen-based damage to cell structures throughout the body. In laboratory studies, oregano has demonstrated stronger anti-oxidant capacity than either of the two synthetic anti-oxidants commonly added to processed food—BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole). Additionally, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano has demonstrated 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.

A Nutrient-Dense Spice

Our food ranking system qualified oregano as a very good source of fiber. Fiber works in the body to bind to bile salts and cancer-causing toxins in the colon and remove them from the body. This forces the body to break down cholesterol to make more bile salts. These are just some of the reasons that diets high in fiber have been shown to lower high cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Oregano also emerged from our food ranking system as a bountiful source of many nutrients. It qualified within our system as an excellent source of vitamin K, a very good source of manganese, iron, and calcium as well as a good source of vitamin E and tryptophan.

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Description

While many people think of pizza when they think of oregano, this wonderful herb can add a warm, balsamic and aromatic flavor to many different dishes, especially those of the Mediterranean cuisine.

Oregano is known botanically as Origanum vulgare and is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. Its name is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy) since not only was it a symbol of happiness, but it made the hillsides on which it grew look beautiful.

Read more at whfoods.org

sliced tomotoes with oregano