Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cuban Butterfly Pork Chops a.k.a. Bun-less Cuban Sandwiches

If "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" then Chris of NibbleMeThis should be flat as a pancake.  I think this is AT LEAST the third time that I have read his blog, then pirated some attempt at repeating his recipe/cook.  Now, I do need to qualify a few things that distinguish the two of us.  First, I take pictures on the fly...I don't use ANY special lighting and recently I put away my $1200 Nikon and even started using a smart phone camera.  So for me, it's ALL about the cook and the taste.  I even quit worrying about presentation. 

I like to prep, cook, eat, clean up and move on.  Chris goes all in...all the time.  But hey, we're Internet Grillin' friends so whats a few stolen recipes between those who've never really met? LOL.
The plating looks a little boring but the meal was spot - on !
For tonight's meal I have prepared what I am going to call Grilled Pork Cuban Butterflies and Seasoned Pee-Wee potatoes.  This is my attempt to get 'close' to what Chris posted (Bobby Flays Cuban style butterfly pork chops and Papas Asadas - Easy Cuban Roasted Potatoes. 

Truth be known, my version is, if you compare them, very obviously prepared using the AHCD/OCD grilling methodology.  In fact, I may rename my (forever pending) recipe/cookbook, AHCD/OCD grilling.  I tossed out the potato preparation and all the ingredients from Chris's potatoes and also from Flay's original pork chop recipe and went with Pee-Wee potatoes (no cutting required) and Mojo (I didn't have all those spices in Flay's list anyway). 

This makes preparation a snap, you get 'similar' results and you get some options on how to take a great recipe and make is average, LOL.  Besides, it gets dark early and I haven't fixed all my lighting issues on the porch yet so we'll eat and run to the movies.

Ingredients for the Grilled Cuban Butterfly Pork chops
  • 6 - Butterflied Pork Chops (approx. 6 ounces each)
  • 1 - Bottle, Mojo (eliminates the entire list on Flay's ingredients) 
  • Suggested additional 'fixins'"
    • Mustard
    • Honey Ham (deli sliced)
    • Baby Swiss Cheese (deli sliced)
    • Tomato slices (TOTALLY optional and non-traditional)
  • NO BUNS or CUBAN ROLLS required!
Potato ingredients
  • 1  - 3 Lb. Bag - Yellow Pee-Wee Potatoes, rinsed (use the quantity you need to feed your guests, 3 Lb. might be on the high end for feeding 6).
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Dried Roasted Garlic

Pork Directions
1. Place chops in a 9 x 13 roaster and soak in Mojo, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
2. Remove 45 minutes prior to cooking and drain off marinade.  Cover in plastic wrap again and let come to near room temperature while the grill gets hot.
3. Prepare the chops by layering your favorite ingredients then fold.  You might need to stick a toothpick in them to keep them 'folded.'
4. Fire up (in this case I used my Rosle Kettle grill) and Kingsford Charcoal and place on hot grid and sear grill marks into each side.
5. Raise grid or place a grill basked on the grid (the idea is to raise the pork chops further from the heat so the pork can finish without demolishing the cheese and condiments. Optional:  Use a grilling surface like a Emile Henry Baking Stone for final cooking cycle instead of raising the grid or messing with temperature controls.
6. Cook to temp and remove to rest for 3-5 minutes and serve.
Finished Marinating
Layered on Honey Ham, Home Canned Dill Pickle Slices and Baby Mozzarella
 All Wrapped up and ready for the Grill (that's a Emile Henry Small Baking Stone)
Potato Directions
1. Rinse potatoes and pat dry and dump into a gallon freezer bag.
2. Add spices (to taste but using those recommended above) will NOT take much.

All spiced up for the oven (I hate cooking anything indoors!)

3. Set aside or refrigerate depending on how soon you will cook.
4. If you are going to use the oven (sacrilegious at our house) cook on a cookie sheet at 350-375 F until tender. If you cook on the grill, use a grill rack and roast until tender, rotating constantly to avoid burning.

Note:  The potatoes will take 20 minutes minimum....prepare them BEFORE you start the pork chops because those will cook in under 10 minutes. 

KEEP ON EGGIN' my Friends!
More information than you will ever want to know about the Cuban Sandwich paraphrased from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (so you gotta know this is suspect information LOL).
The Cuban sandwich is a variation of a ham and cheese originally created in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Cuba and in the early Cuban immigrant communities of Florida: Key West and Ybor City, Tampa. Later on, Cuban exiles and expatriates brought it to Miami  where it is also still very popular. The sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and sometimes salami (the Italian influence) on Cuban bread. FUN FACT!!!! In April 2012, the "Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich" was designated as the "signature sandwich of the city of Tampa" by Tampa's city council.
While there is some debate as to the contents of a "true" Cuban sandwich, most are generally agreed upon. The traditional Cuban sandwich starts with Cuban bread. The loaf is sliced into lengths of 8-12 inches (20–30 cm), lightly buttered or brushed with olive oil on the crust, and cut in half horizontally. A coat of yellow mustard is spread on the bread. Then roast pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, and thinly-sliced dill pickles are added in layers. Sometimes the pork is marinated in mojo and slow roasted.  The main regional disagreement about the sandwich’s recipe is whether or not to include salami.