Sunday, August 11, 2013

"Southern Style" Crispy Pork Belly Cubano Sandwich with Ham, Smoked Swiss, Homemade Garlic Aioli, + Green Tomato Pickles on Grilled Bread

"Southern Style" Crispy Pork Belly Cubano Sandwich with Ham, Smoked Swiss,
Homemade Garlic Aioli, + Green Tomato Pickles on Grilled Bread
Raise your hand if you love Cuban Sandwiches! I'm raising my hand, and y'all should be too. They damn good delicious. Why are they so mouth watering-ly "cravable", you ask. Well, they have two kinds of pork products... typically ham and roast pork. I made it a tad bit gourmet by adding crispy pork belly because pork belly is the leader of all porky products. Add in some smoked swiss cheese, sweet + tangy green tomato pickles (god love the south), mustard, and a homemade garlic aioli. You load all of the goodness onto a cuban baguette that has be schmeared with lots 'o butter and grill it until crispy and the cheese is oozy. I love that the crispy pork belly gives the sandwich some bites of almost fried pork rind puffiness... chicharrones anyone? I know most of y'all don't live in the South and might not be able to find green tomato pickles. That's okay. You can make your own at home, like we do, or just buy some regular 'ole pickles at the store. And as for the smoked swiss, which can be difficult to find, that can be substituted for just aged swiss instead. OH HEY, and don't forget to go heavy on the mustard and mayo, y'all!! Enjoy :)

For the Homemade Garlic Aioli:
1 Egg Yolk
1t White Vinegar
1 ½t Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
¼t Dijon Mustard & Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
1 Head of Roasted Garlic, Cooled & Garlic Pulp Only
½t Garlic Salt
¾C Canola Oil

For the Crispy Pork Belly Cubano Sandwiches:
1 Baguette of French Bread, Sliced Lengthwise
Yellow Mustard & Homemade Garlic Aioli, For Spreading
Cubes of Crispy Pork Belly
Thinly Sliced Black Forrest Ham
Slices of Aged or Smoked Swiss Cheese
Green Tomato Pickle Slices
Softened Butter, For Grilling

1. For the Homemade Garlic Aioli: Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, roasted garlic pulp, and ½t salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds. Using ¼t measuring spoon and whisking constantly, add ¼C of the oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4-5 minutes. Gradually add remaining ½C canola oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick, about 8-10 minutes (mayonnaise will be lighter in color). Season the mayo with sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
2. For the Crispy Pork Belly Cubano Sandwiches: Slice open the baguette bread down the middle. On the topside of the bread spread on some mustard and on the other side spread on some garlic aioli, evenly across. And then place 4 green tomato pickles on top of the mustard. You then place some sliced of Swiss cheese on top of the pickles, followed by the sliced ham and crispy pork belly. You then join both halves of the sandwich. You are now ready to grill your Cuban sandwich.
3. Grilling the Sandwich: Use a sandwich grill if you have one, a waffle iron if not. Spread butter on top of the bread evenly. Close the grill, smashing the sandwich. Leave sandwich in the grill until top of bread turns to a golden brown, and top is crisp. Approximate time is 4 to 6 minutes. After the sandwich is crispy and the cheese has melted, remove the sandwich carefully and slice it diagonally, from corner to corner.

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