Thursday 9 April 2015

Chef Movie-inspired Cuban Sandwiches

 Have you seen the movie Chef? I was really looking forward to watching it as it tells the story of a high-end restaurant chef who leaves to set up his own food truck. It has an all-star cast of Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara (very famous for a show called Modern Family which I've never seen), Dustin Hoffman and Robert Downey Jr.
Food takes centre stage in the film, from the elaborate but slightly dated meals Favreau is made to cook in his restaurant by the proprietor - which leads to a bad review from a leading critic, in particular over his chocolate lava cake, which ultimately leads to him quitting his job - to the food Favreau makes for his son. He takes him to a farmers market, they eat Andouille sausage and talk about beignets and he makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches for his son which I am going to have to try.
When Favreau starts his food truck, his speciality is Cuban sandwiches, or Cubanos. I'd never heard of these and thought it was interesting to see how his sandwiches go viral - having seen much the same with Meatwagon here in London. So while overall I found the film a little cheesy and some of the characters a bit one-dimensional, when it came to this month's Food 'n' Flix challenge - with the movie Chef chosen by Culinary Adventures with Camilla - there was only one thing I was going to make: Cubanos.
 I found the actual recipe from the film on various websites, which I assume were reproduced with permission of the producers, so I am not going to type out the whole recipe again but instead suggest you follow this link (you can find the recipes on other websites as well if you search online). I did it properly, marinading the pork the day before and cooking it in the morning that I was making the sandwich for lunch - I wouldn't normally go to this much effort when making a sandwich!

The marinaded pork, before and after cooking

I used a piece of ready-cooked ham from the deli counter and a French stick (baguette) which I sliced into sections. I added the Swiss cheese, mustard, pickles and ham and pork - I sliced the pork as thinly as I could but it was still quite thick. I think it would have been better done in the slow cooker and then shredded like pulled pork and added to the sandwich. I don't have a Panini press so I was unable to squash down the sandwich properly and toast it on both sides, so I don't think my Cubanos are about to go viral like the ones in Chef - but they still tasted pretty good and it was nice to try something different!

 I am sending this to Food 'n' Flix hosted by Culinary Adventures with Camilla 


  1. Great post and I want to take a bite out of that sandwich so bad, looks delicious.

  2. That sandwich looks yummy and you really need to watch Modern Family...that show makes me belly laugh.

  3. My mouth is watering, and I'm a vegetarian so you know it's tempting.

  4. Cubanos were everywhere for this round up. Love the marinated pork.

  5. Thanks for joining in, Caroline! I appreciate it...and your sandwich looks delicious!

  6. Your Cubano looks delicious! I love how many of us put our own spin on the sandwich!

  7. I feel like us Cuban Sandwich people are a "band of bloggers". Even tho it wasn't pressed, it tasted good and that's what counts, right?


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