Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cook once, eat twice pork tenderloin and Cuban Sandwiches

A few times recently, my grocery store has run huge pork tenderloins on sale for around $8. I mean whole loin the size of your arm!
Here's what I have done with my bargain meat, to very tasty results:

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Cut whole tenderloin in half cross-wise to make two shorter lengths. In a gallon-sized zip-lock bag, create about 1 cup of marinade. I use about 1/2 cup of Italian dressing (I like the Kraft Tuscan), about a tbsp of spicey mustard, 2 or 3 tbsp of Dale's marinade (it's way too salty full-strength but works great this way) or Worcestershire sauce, a shake or two of montreal steak seasoning, and a little water. Add the pork to the marinade and let set for at least half an hour. Grill until a meat thermometer says it's done.

The first night, I serve half of the meat with mashed potatoes, a green veg, rolls, etc.

Cuban Sandwiches

If you aren't familiar with the Cuban sandwich, it is a very specific type of pressed sandwich that is always made with the same ingredients. The only variation seems to be mustard or no mustard. Mayo is an abomination!

2 loaves wide Italian bread (like French but usually wider and flatter and a little softer) or 1 package hoagie rolls
1 half of grilled pork loin, heated
1 pkg good quality sliced deli ham
1 pkg sliced swiss cheese
Sliced dill pickles (get the flat, un-ridged "fast food style" ones if you can)

Cut Italian bread (if using) into sandwich-sized lengths and split lengthwise (to make a top and a bottom), spread with mustard, and set aside.
Slice pork loin about 1/2 inch thick. I actually don't cut full slices, but kind of cut it off at differing angles so that each piece is not as wide as the whole. (Does that make sense?) On each roll, layer pork loin, a few slices of ham, swiss cheese, and pickles.

Now, if you do not have a sandwich press, like I don't, you have to get a little creative for the pressing part. What has worked for me is lining them up on a warm griddle and them mashing them with a cookie sheet, flipping to heat on both sides. I've also done pretty well just arranging them in a large skillet and pressing them with a large sauce pan or Dutch Oven (do people still call them that?) As for the waffle iron experiment, well...

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