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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cuban Sandwiches and Roasted Tomato Soup

I love a really good soup and sandwich combo. It's humble food but if done right it is oh so good. It's rather funny because I never ever bring sandwiches to work, I always bring leftovers, I only ever make sandwiches to eat at home. Ever since I had a Cuban Sandwich at Olive and Gourmando (from this post) I have been craving them. Since their opening hours are pretty terrible (they close at 6pm) and I can't think of a good reason to go all the way to Old Montreal on a weekend I decided to try to replicate it at home. Since it was cold that day I also decided to make roasted tomato soup.


This is a great recipe to make when you have a bunch of tomatoes that are getting too soft to eat or you have winter tomatoes flown from halfway across the world which are less than stellar quality. The method is ridiculously easy. In a roasting pan you put quartered tomatoes and a sliced onion. You toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper and roasted garlic paste. Sometimes I will add some fresh thyme as well. Throw that in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 450 degrees.

When it comes out it will look like this. Not terribly pretty but the makings of a good soup.


This then gets pureed with fresh basil and enough water to cover everything up. When that is done it goes into a pot to simmer on the stove. Dead easy and few things are as comforting as hot soup. Now for the sandwich part of the meal.

First of all I must preface this part with a caveat. I know this is not a real Cuban Sandwich so please don't shout "Dios mio!" at your computer screen and send me hate mail for messing with tradition. Montreal is not the bastion of anything Latino so I should get points for trying.


First all I made the sauce/spread for the sandwich. I used:

-Pureed chipotles
-Lime juice (yes, I know. I use the bottled stuff sometimes. Forgiveness please?)
-Chopped cilantro
-Pickles (I only had French style pickles in the house and didn't have enough so I ended up chucking some hot dog relish in as well.)

I love lime juice so I kept on adding more but had to stop otherwise it would have been too liquid. I put the sauce in the fridge for a bit so that all the flavours could get to know each other.

Now for the sandwich filling. I used roasted pork loin, roasted turkey...

and some smoked Gruyere. To put my sandwich together I used some French bread and put a smear of jalapeno mustard, two slices of pork, two slices of ham, a slice of Grueyere and some of the mayo-chipotle sauce that I had prepared. The whole thing then went in my trusty panini maker until the bread was nice and toasty and the cheese was oozing.


Oh how I love the combo of toasted, golden bread with melted cheese, meat and tangy sauce. It wasn't exactly the same as the one I had before but it was really good. I loved the mayo-chipotle mayo. I had to resist the tempatation to dunk it repeatedly in the sauce. 

Don't worry. I didn't forget my soup. I tasted it and added a bit of tomato paste before serving it to give it a deeper tomato taste. This is one of my favourite soups because of its simplicity and because it is just so good. The master recipe is incredibly easy to vary with different herbs or a splash of cream.

This is a steak and Gouda sandwich that I had made The Husband for lunch that day since he didn't want a Cuban Sandwich. He was pretty happy with it since he loves red meat.

Although I still want to go back to the sandwich place at which I had a Cuban Sandwich for the first time I have found the solution so I can get my fix at home until I find a pretext to go back there on a weekend.
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