Friday, May 15, 2015

El Quinney Cubano!

My all time favorite sandwich is simple.  A Cubano!!!!  Layers of roasted pork topped with fresh smoked ham, crisp pickles, spicy Dijon mustard, tangy mayonnaise and fragrant Swiss all put together on a loaf on Cuban style french bread.... Buttered and put onto a panini press.... Heaven in every bite!!!

It starts with great ingredients first!  Hit me up and let me know what your favorite sandwich is and maybe a pic or style that you like.  We'll post it in the future!


The Cubano

12 thin slices Caribbean pork loin
3 7-8 inch french or Cuban style rolls
1 lb sliced thin ham (preferably smoked)
1 jar dill pickle sandwich slices
3 T. whole grain Dijon mustard
1 c. mayonnaise
10 slices Swiss cheese

slice rolls and butter liberally.
toast in 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.
layer pork, ham, pickle slices and Swiss on bottom part of rolls.
in bowl, mix together mayonnaise and mustard.
spread on top part of rolls.
return sandwiches to oven or place on a panini press.  cook 8-10 minutes or until all the goods get happy together!
Pour a Cuba libre and enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Silver Stars Caribbean Journey

What does Trinidad & Tobago have to do with an Irish guy from Brilliant, Ohio?  Well, until about last Christmas, not much.  But then, I heard that my nephew who is a junior at the University of Akron and participates fully in the steel drum band was going to this small island nation with  so much influence in music around the world!  Just off the coast of  Venezuela.

Austin, my nephew was nominated to attend the annual Carnival festival with other students from around the country and world.  A destined opportunity of a lifetime!
He was going to play with "The Silver Stars" a very well known pan group whose excitement in their concerts is unrivaled!  He spent 3 weeks there learning and playing and learning and playing.  An amazing experience for sure.
Proud of you Austin Ferguson!  Here's a link to his awesome performance!!!

Silver Stars with Austin

So, Back to me... not really.  Bottom line is for his junior music recital, he asked me to produce some food that had flavors that would remind all who came of a Caribbean experience!  Honored and humbled, I was inspired and spent the whole day of cooking listening to steel pan music.  The above picture is one component of one sandwich that I produced.  More to come next week.

1 pork loin ( about 4 lb piece)
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ginger
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. allspice
2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. coffee grounds
1 t. chopped garlic
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. ancho chili powder
2 T. honey
pinch of kosher salt

place pork fat side up in oven roasting pan and heat oven to 350 degrees.
in a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients.
pour over pork and place uncovered in oven for 20 minutes.
reduce heat to 250 degrees and slow roast until loin reaches an internal temperature of 155.
remove from oven and once cooled, wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator overnight.
slice thin.  (use as entree, sliced in a Cuban style sandwich, serve with fried plantain chips for a festive dinner with mango fried rice)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Whipped Epiphany!

Holy cow!  It's in the midst of simple moments when great things come.  Saturday, My lovely was thinking about what she was gonna do for a dinner that we were going to attend where we were designated dessert...  I now, she married a chef and he has thousands of ideas.... not so fast!  Although, I can create some crazy good dessert type stuff; my wife is a pretty damn cook herself!  Here recipes are in a lot of cases 3 steps fewer and 5 steps better!  So, when she wants to make dessert, it's not a struggle, I let it happen, plain and simple....

Okay, I meddle a little bit, but, not much.  She asks my opinion sometimes because she wants it and sometimes because she wants to appease me:)  Either way, I have a little input into these creations.  She loves home made whipped cream and until Saturday, her favorite was my cinnamon whipped cream.  But, there was something better.  Something that would make you think WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS BEFORE!!!  it is whipped cream after all and it's a topping.  NOPE, it's the main event!


Brown Butter Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream chilled
1 c. powdered sugar
1 stick salted butter


1 qt Strawberries (cut)
1 pint blackberries
1 pint blueberries
1 t. sugar
1 frozen pie crust flat (grocery store frozen foods)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 T. butter


for Napoleons
cut pie shell into squares 2" x 2"
melt butter.
brush crusts with butter on parchment lined cookie sheet.
sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
bake at 325 for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
toss berries together and season with a touch of sugar.

for Whipped cream:

in small saute on high, heat stick of butter.  when it breaks down and the sediment just starts to brown, Remove from heat!
put mixer bowl into freezer for 10 minutes to chill completely.
whip on high speed heavy cream until soft peaks just form.
add powdered sugar.
dredge spoon into saute pan to get just the brown sediment from the butter and pour that sediment into cream.
continue to mix until peaks are stiff and the flavor is where you want it.

Spoon on crust with berries and ENJOY!!!