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Cuban Sandwich and Grilled Street Corn from NY message has embedded images

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Posted by: Egghead123SC on 2012/07/22 21:33:37  

We went to NYC last week to visit our recent college graduate daughter --who is interning for the summer at a PR firm on Madison Avenue. I searched for “hole in wall” restaurants before we went, and we therefore had several great food adventures in NY.

One place that kept coming up was Café Habana, with claims of the best Cuban sandwich and best grilled corn around. So, we went there (had to eat outside on a tree planter bench, really small restaurant with carry out counter around the corner. So we ended up eating on the planter bench and passing around a variety of Cuban sodas—it was a blast and great memory). The food was absolutely awesome, and definitely a meal I wanted to recreate. So I dug around, and between cooks illustrated and finding a recipe from Café Habana for the corn, went for it tonight. Worked out very well. Here are pics with recipes.

For the Cuban sandwich. Started with pork shoulder, made one inch by one inch slits all over about 2 inches apart, and brined for 18 hours in fridge in large pot in 6 qts water, 3 C. sugar, 1 C. table salt, 2 heads (not cloves, 2 heads) of garlic separated and crushed, and 4 C. orange juice.

Then, made a garlic citrus paste to coat it with before cooking: 12 medium cloves garlic roughly chopped, 2T. cumin, 2T dried oregano, 1T table salt, 1 1/2t fresh ground black pepper—put all in food processor for about 10 one second pulses. Then, with processor running, pour in 6T orange juice, 2T white vinegar, and 2 T olive oil and run for about 20 seconds. Mine was more of a juicy rub than a paste, but rubbed it on and got ready to cook. Here it is ready to go:

Cooked indirect at 325 degrees for 6 hours, and basted with “paste” halfway through. Took off at 190 internal, wrapped in foil and towel, and rested in cooler for about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

I was planning on slicing, but it actually pulled quite well so just did it like regular pulled pork.

Then, a Cuban sandwich has spicy mayo which is made in food processor with ½ c mayo and 4 canned chipotle chilis (this has a pretty good bite so only use 2 chipolte chilis if you crew likes it a little less spicy).

Then to make the sandwich, use spicy mayo, hefty helping of pork, slice of black forest ham, slice of imported swiss cheese and slice of dill pickle (sliced longways). I used a sub roll, could not find Cuban bread. Then, into the grill press to warm up and toast bread. These were absolutely a hit.

Then for the corn, which is even better. This is served on a stick, and my thin wood skewers would not work. So, had some chopsticks on hand so just cut in half and used the pointed half. Take 6 ears fresh corn and shuck. Cook covered in two batches in microwave for 5 minutes per batch. Then, they are grilled on egg until lightly browned in spots. (Punch skewers holes before microwaving and then put back in after grilling). Before grilling, prepare spread and grate cheese. The spread is ¼ c mayo, 3T sour cream, ¼ t cumin and pinch of salt. Combine all these together. Then, separately grate 1C of fresh Cotija cheese. I think this cheese is a key—found it at Whole Foods and with fine hand grater it is like a powder almost.

Take the grilled corn, insert skewer, spread with mayo/sour cream mixture, and then roll each ear in the grated cheese, and sprinkly lightly with chili powder. Then enjoy a fantastic ear of what is commonly called Mexican corn (even though we got it at Cuban restaurant).

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