This month, I'm hosting Food'N'Flix. I chose Chef* and invited bloggers to join me in watching it and heading to the kitchen. Click to see my invitation: here. I had seen the movie several times before I selected it. But - in advance of this post - I popped it in and grabbed a snack, a pen, and a pad of paper.
On the Screen
The basic plot: Chef Carl Casper, played by Jon Favreau, is a chef in a high end restaurant. After a dramatic conflict with owner Riva and restaurant critic Ramsey Michel - played by Dustin Hoffman and Oliver Platt, respectively - Casper leaves that job and starts his own business...in a food truck.
I considered making some of the dishes from the beginning when Casper was trying to reinvigorate the tired menu that Riva embraces. Casper made spot prawns in a curry-carrot purée, garnished with radishes and a roast squab with pickled red onion, chilis, gochujang, and soy vinaigrette.
I thought about recreating the culinary clichés from Riva's menu - that while tired are also tried and true! Think a poached egg topped with caviar, French onion soup, scallops with beurre blanc, a frisée salad, and filet mignon topped with a massive slab of butter. While not particularly cutting edge, I knew any of those choices would be delicious!
On the Plate
But, in the end, I decided to go for one of the signature dishes from the food truck that is named El Jefe. There is some debate as to the elements of an authentic Cubano, a Cuban sandwich. But most agree on toasted bread, yellow mustard, sliced roast pork, glazed ham, cheese, and thinly-sliced dill pickles. I had planned to make all of the ingredients, from the bread to the pickles. But, pressed for time, I stuck with making the Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder. I bought everything else.
- 3/4 C olive oil
- 1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 C fresh mint, chopped
- 5 sprig fresh rosemary
- zest from 2 organic oranges
- juice from 2 organic oranges
- zest from 2 organic lemons
- juice from 2 organic lemons
- 10 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 t ground cumin
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder
In a large pot - I used my Dutch oven - whisk together all of the ingredients except the pork. Roll the pork in the marinade and gently press the herbs into the surface. Let marinate overnight, turning the meat once or twice to fully coat the surface.
The next day, let the meat and pot come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Roast the pork, covered, for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F and roast for another 90 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes before slicing.
I have opted not to provide amount of the ingredients for the sandwich as, I feel, everyone likes the proportions different. For example, I have one son who doesn't really like melted cheese; I used only a little bit to hold the sandwich together. My other son doesn't really care for mustard; his only received a thin smear of mustard while the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf smothered his ham with mustard!
Ingredients, serves 4
Ingredients, serves 4
- 4 crusted bakery rolls
- Dijon mustard
- thinly sliced ham
- thinly sliced cheese
- large dill pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
To make the sandwiches, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub the pan with butter. Split the bread lengthwise and open it up. Spread the mustard on bottom of the roll and layer with cheese, roast pork, ham, more cheese, and pickles. Finish with a layer of cheese. Spread the butter over the outside of the sandwiches and grill until the cheese is melted and the meats are warmed through, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. Slice sandwiches in half and serve hot.
*This post contains affiliate links for this month's movie selection and next month's. Here...