Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cuban Sandwich

It seems like everywhere I look lately they have Cuban sandwiches. Being the foodie that I am I had to investigate. Wikipedia says a Cuban sandwich consists of yellow mustard, thinly sliced pickles, pork and slices of glazed ham. I had some left over pork loin roast that I had grilled. The roast had a spicy/sweet rub on it that I had made. That seems easy enough, so here was my version. Not bad for someone who never had one before.

Cuban Sandwich
2 slices of good quality bread
2 slices of ham, I used honey ham from the deli
2-4 slices pork roast, depending on size and thickness of roast
enough slices of dill pickle to cover the sandwich
enough yellow mustard to cover 2 pieces of bread
Olive Oil to spread on the side of the bread without the mustard

On one side of the bread spread olive oil on the other spread mustard. On the mustard side put down the pork, then the pickles, then the ham. Put the other slice of bread on top with olive oil side on the outside. If you have a panini press/George Foreman grill use that, if not then use a griddle/frying pan with a weight on top of the sandwich (I used a griddle with a cast iron skillet on this sandwich). Cook until bread is golden brown and turn over and do the other side if using a frying pan/griddle.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Seared Salmon With White Beans & Spinach Topped With Olive-Lemon Relish

Last week I received 4 cookbooks in the mail and then went away for the weekend. So this weekend I had to put the first one to the test. This week's book is Stir Mixing It Up In the Italian Tradition by Barbra Lynch. Since Annette wanted salmon for dinner I had to select from 3 recipes. Two of the three recipes called for ingredients that I did not have on hand. I had to make a few changes to put my own spin on this recipe because I thought it was kind of bland and there was a lot of fat where none was needed. Also Annette is not a big olive fan so I adjusted the Olive-Lemon Relish so the olives flavor wasn't so strong.

Seared Salmon With White Beans & Spinach Topped With Olive-Lemon Salad

White Bean and Spinach
1/4 cup chicken/vegetable broth (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup olive oil)
8 oz fresh spinach, tough stems removed cleaned and dried (I used frozen)
1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper, add more if you like heat

2 tbs olive oil or Canola oil

Olive-Lemon Relish
1/4 cup Picholine olives, pitted and chopped (I only had Kalamata so I used those)
1/2 Lemon juiced, cut the other 1/2 into segments and finely dice
1/2 Lemon peeled and pith removed fruit cut into small pieces the size of the olive pieces
1 tbs parsley, finely chopped, original called for 2 tbs
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp honey, more if needed original called for 1/2 tsp
splash of white wine vinegar, original called for 1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp kosher salt, I left this out brined olives took care of the salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

White Bean & Spinach
In a frying pan, over medium heat, add 1/2 the broth, the pepper and the garlic, bring to a simmer. Toss in the spinach and cook until it cooks down (if all of the spinach doesn't fit cook 1/2 then add the rest once the first batch cooks down). After the spinach is cooked down add the beans and the rest of the broth. Cook until the beans are heated though. This will be the the base the salmon sits on.

In a frying pan , over medium high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot add the salmon and cook until the salmon is golden, then flip over and cook until the second side takes on some color. Sit on the spinach and beans.

Olive-Lemon Relish
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and add pepper, honey, vinegar or whatever is needed to make this taste how you like it. Spoon over the top of the salmon.