I think sandwiches are my favorite food. It’s a tough call because pizza is definitely up there, but there’s just something about getting that perfect bite of crisp greens, choice meats, and flavorful dressing all bundled up between two slices of bread.
And I like just about every kind of sandwich. Hot, cold, vegetarian, stuffed with italian deli meats, pita wrapped, nestled between whole grain – all so, so good.
So when we had an inordinate amount of grilled pork tenderloin left over from this weekend, it just made sense to turn them into a cuban sandwich.
Keeping inline with the caribbean theme, I baked plantain chips and seasoned them with cloves, allspice, cinnamon, garlic, salt, and pepper. To serve with the chips I made an impossibly easy black bean pumpkin hummus.
Eating plantains always make me think of the trip to Puerto Rico my husband and I took with my parents last Christmas. We tried Mofongo, a dish made of fried and mashed plantains, at a restaurant in Old San Juan. The Mofongo was served in a wooden bowl with a plantain chip sticking out the top and it was so good. Plantains made the meal slightly sweet and roasted garlic gave it some serious robust flavor.
These plantain chips crisp up perfectly in the oven and are a great side for the cuban sandwich. They’re better when eaten right away, which wasn’t a problem for Jay and me. Mostly me.
The sandwich also turned out amazing. The marinaded pork came out so tender and was a perfect compliment to melty swiss, tangy dijon, crisp pickles and briny ham. We grilled the sandwiches on a french baguette with the center hollowed out, but any kind of roll or bun will work. These are great to make in a panini press, but if you’re like us and don’t have this luxury, a hot skillet pressed on top of the sandwich while it’s grilling will do the trick.
The recipe below is for 2 sandwiches, but can easily be multiplied to feed a crowd. Enjoy!
Cuban Sandwich with Baked Plantain Chips and Black Bean Pumpkin Hummus
For the Cuban Sandwich (makes 2)
- 6 1/2 Inch Slices of Grilled or Roasted Pork Tenderloin (Get the recipe)
- 1 French Baguette, Cut into Quarters (Reserve two sections for later use)
- 4 Slices Deli Ham
- 1 Tbsp Dijon
- 2 Slices Swiss Cheese
- 6 Bread and Butter Pickles (Dill pickles would work, too)
Turn the broiler on. Heat a large oven proof pan over medium heat. On a separate burner, heat a heavy cast iron skillet or another large over medium pan. Slice the baguette almost all the way through to create an opening. Gently hollow out the soft interior using your fingers (save the soft bread, this will make great breadcrumbs). Assemble the sandwiches by spreading dijon on one side and layering the pork, ham, pickles and swiss. Add olive oil to the first pan and place 1 or both of the sandwiches, if two will fit, in the pan, leaving the sandwiches open. Place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Pull the pan out of the oven, place it back on the hot burner, then fold the sandwiches over to close. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top and place the heavy, hot skillet or pan on top of the sandwiches and press down. Let sit for 2 minutes until both sides crisp up. Cut in half and enjoy!
For the Plantain Chips
- 2 Very Green Plantains
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Tsp Cloves
- 1/4 Tsp Allspice
- 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350. Peel the plantains using a pairing knife. Using a knife or mandolin, slice the plantains to about 1/8 thick (I tried to use the mandolin but my plantains were a little too soft so the knife worked perfectly). In a bowl combine the olive oil and the rest of the ingredients. Toss the plantain in the bowl and gently mix until covered. Place on a baking sheet and cook for about 25-30 minutes, flipping the chips halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire baking tray.
For the Black Bean Pumpkin Hummus
- 1/2 Cup Black Beans
- 1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Salt (Add another 1/4 teaspoon if your not using canned black beans)
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Chicken Stock
In a blender or food processor, add the black beans, pumpkin and spices and pulse to combine. drizzle in the olive oil and slowly add the chicken stock until everything combines.