Friday, November 20, 2015

Mini Cubano Plantain Bites


Cuban food is AHHH-mazing. If you've never had a Cubano, or cuban sandwich, I suggest you either 1) make one for yourself (it's pretty simple) or 2) find a place that serves them. Have any of you seen the movie, Chef, with Jon Favreau? Great movie, btw. Favreau's character is a big time chef that receives a scathing review for his restaurant, falls into a depression and decides to start a food truck making Cuban food. What I wouldn't give to have been a character in the movie, eating those cubanos. Anyway, I digress. Here's my interpretation, lechon asado (cuban pulled pork), ham, pickle relish, dijon mustard on a crispy tostone (twice fried plantain). Oh. Em. Gee. Delicious.

Mini Cubano Plantain Bites

Ingredients:

For the Tostones
  • Green plantain, peeled and sliced
  • coconut oil, for frying plantains
For the Lechon Asado
  • 2-3 lb bone-in pork shoulder/pork butt
  • 5-8 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice (I juiced, 2 whole limes and 1.5 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 medium (baseball sized) onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
Remaining bites
  • nitrate free ham
  • finely diced bread and butter or sweet dill pickles
  • finely diced onions
  • dijon mustard
Preparation:
  1. Pat dry the pork. Using a knife, make 5-8 (depending on amount of garlic used) one inch slits sparingly throughout the meat. Place a clove garlic in each slit. 
  2. Place the garlic stuffed pork is a large ziploc bag. Add the remaining lechon asado ingredients. Marinate the pork at least 6 hours or overnight. 
  3. The following day, remove the pork from the marinade. Place in a slow cooker. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the marinade to the slow cooker pot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Then turn up to high and cook for another 4 hours. 
  4. Remove the pork into a large bowl. Shred. Add a tablespoon of the liquid from the slow cooker pot at a time. I added about 4 to keep it moist and juicy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use. 
  5. To make the tostones, cut off the ends of the green plantain. Peel the skin and slice (about 1/2 inch thick). Heat a cast iron skillet with coconut oil over medium high heat. Fry both sides of each plantain slice for approximately 1 minutes. Remove from skillet and using a flat bottomed cup/bowl/or other kitchen tool, smash each plantain slice into a disk. Fry both sides of each smashed plantain disk for another 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. 
  6. To assemble, top each tostones with sliced ham, the lechon, finely diced pickles and onions, and a drizzle of dijon mustard. 





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