Monday, January 31, 2011

Paninis – PuertoCuban style! (or Almosta Cubans)… An International Culinary Adventure… or something…

So I may be buried under piles of paper and jewelry supplies but occasionally I pull myself out of the mess and make dinner for the Brent-man and myself.

My friend, Jamie, has been sharing recipes and pictures of her new “skinny” meals and one of them caught my eye and whet my appetite :)  It’s called “Cuban Sandwich Quesadilla” and is made with Pernil, a slow cooked pork, pickles, ham, swiss cheese and mustard.   Now, I’m not a fan of mustard but I like everything else on the sammie so I figured we’d try it out.

cuban-quesadilla
Here’s what you need for a traditional Cuban:

Pernil (skinny variety from skinnytaste.com)
Some type of bread (we used Naan)
Dill Pickles
Mustard
Deli sliced ham
Swiss cheese (or other easy melting white cheese)

On Saturday Brent and I spent the afternoon shopping up in the “big city” and hit WinCo and Sunflower Market… our two new fave stores.  We picked up some yummy organic veggies at Sunflower and made our own peanut butter at WinCo. We were like small children at the peanut butter station.  LOL! It’s actually very cool to watch and it tastes DIVINE.. nothing but peanuts… no additives or extra “fluff”.

So after we unloaded all our goodies we pulled out the pork roasts (they were small 1 lb roasts) and threw a couple in a glass bowl, mixed up the marinade and let it sit over night.  We turned it a few times that evening and then into the crock pot it went Sunday morning.  Our house smelled absolutely DIVINE and thankfully since the roasts were smaller we didn’t have to let it cook the full 8 hours. I think we made it 6 before our stomachs demanded to be fed. LOL!

We pulled the pork out, barely let it cool, and shredded it with forks.  We probably could have just used the tongs because that pork just fell apart if you looked at it hard.

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I took a little “culinary license” when creating our sandwiches… 1) we were out of mustard and 2) I forgot to buy ham, but that’s ok with me.   On my sammie I subbed provolone cheese for the swiss because I don’t handle swiss cheese very well.  SO much for authentic, eh?  So these are “almosta Cubans”…. they were delicioso anyway!  I am all about KEEPING IT REAL here on my blog.  You may see fru fru art, but the rest of it is all me, all real… the good, the bad, the ugly, and an occasional panini.

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The bread that we used is called Naan.  It’s an Indian flat bread and I am sure it can’t be that difficult to make… I’ve been reading about it today and we’re going to try it out sometime in the near future.  Yeah, so I think I have REALLY messed this recipe up.. they’re PeurtoIndaCuban Paninis now… and Panini is an Italian word.. well heck.. it’s an international culinary adventure.  And we made them again tonight with Dijon mustard… great, now the French are involved… what has this kitchen come to?

But alas, we continue…

So I don’t have a traditional “panini maker” but I was able to create the same effect with a few everyday kitchen gadgets that are common in most kitchens.  Brent has this FABULOUS cast iron griddle that can be used across two burners on our gas stove, so I flipped it over to the “grill” side of the griddle and laid out the sammies, then I folded them over and let them heat up.

To “press” the sammies and get the “panini effect” I used a metal cookie sheet and Brent’s new BSA 100 anniversary cast iron skillet (Lodge).  See.. Keeping it REAL… always open for an opportunity for creative cooking :P

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Look at those yummy little treats getting all nice and squooshed and heated through!  LOVE IT! LOVE IT! NOM, Nom, nom, nom…. noooomm…

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So we let them sqooosh there for a while.. I didn’t track the time… I flipped them over once and grilled the other side . When they looked all nice and toasty and crunchy on the second side I slid them off onto a plate and sliced each one in half.  I served them up with grapes and marinated cucumbers and onions.  Delicioso!

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Now go out and make your family something adventurous!

Inky Smiles!

 

PS.. we made them again tonight… so good.

7 comments:

Kari Seals said...

Erin those look yummy! I made chicken tortilla soup tonight and it was delish! Keep sharing your yummy recipes!

Al Davis said...

That indian bread stuff looks pretty good...

Kandi said...

Wow, that sounds so good! I just ate dinner, but I'm sure I could find a little more room in my tummy. :)

Kathi C. said...

I second Kandi's Wow! Your sandwiches look scrumptious. Now to find that bread in this small town...

Jeanne said...

Looking muy delicioso, Erin! I'm relieved you exchanged the cheese, should I ever try this, because Swiss and I aren't friends. LOL Loved reading about your multicultural culinary adventure and look forward to more.

Creative Mish said...

These look delish! I'm drooling. It's nice to see you're shopping at Winco :) I've worked at their corporate office for 25 years.

Michelle said...

Yummo!!! I'm not a big fan of pickles, (well, dill anyway) but the rest looks YUMMO!!!

If you watch the thrift stores for a george foreman grill, that would work for the 'panini press' too! But your invention worked pretty handily!