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The lyric quote above is less about the sandwich and more about the author of this recipe.
There is nothing subtle about a White Zombie album. There are no power ballads. No love songs. No pop tunes. Rob Zombie doesn’t give a damn about hits or singles or radio play. Other industrial bands pretend to be metal *cough*ministry*cough*, White Zombie bleeds metal. And not that worthless WTF are they singing Cookie Monster industrial metal. White Zombie is grindhouse horror sci-fi industrial metal without all the stupid stage props *cough*gwar*cough*. White Zombie is sleazy B-movie Russ Meyer directed metal perfect for disturbing the neighbors while grilling to “Thunder Kiss ’65”. They are the soundtrack to a gloriously fucked up summer that ends with a four-state car chase and a bloody weed whacker in the trunk. The world needs more White Zombie.
To be clear, I consider this sandwich to be Cuban adjacent. I KNOW it’s not a traditional Cuban and really I don’t care. It’s close enough for what’s available at my local grocery and likely the groceries of most home cooks. If you can find Cuban bread, definitely go that route. I used a sandwich roll from the local bakery section of my grocer.
The tradition Cuban filling list is roast pork, ham, dill pickles, and yellow mustard. The Tampa, FL variation adds Genoa salami. In keeping with the “more than” theme of the inspiration, I replaced yellow mustard with the Carolina mustard sauce from my BBQ cookbook. Dijon based with a bit of sweetness, it punches up the spice and compliments the pork better than plain mustard. Keeping with the Southern U.S. theme, I replace the dill pickles with bread & butter pickles. Mostly because they are the pickles I have in my fridge, but also because they bring another sweet-savory layer to the sandwich. Finally, I go completely off the book with carrot pickles. Granted, these are technically a Mexican pickle, but I am obsessed with them. They add a bit of acidic heat as well as a lovely crunch.
As I really don’t eat that much meat anymore, this is likely something I’ll pull out for BGC parties. All things considered, given the layers of meat and filling, this is actually a fairly light sandwich. Definitely filling, but not “I need to nap” filling. Contrary to most of the sandwiches I make, this needs neither a fork or copious napkins. It’s the very definition of a “pick it up and eat with one hand while there’s a beer in the other hand” sandwich.
MORE CUBAN THAN CUBAN
Mojo roast pork, honey ham, Genoa salami, swiss cheese, bread & butter pickles, carrot pickles, & mustard sauce on a pressed roll
Makes 1 sandwich
1 8-inch section of Cuban bread or any not-too-crusty soft white roll, split open horizontally
4 tablespoons Carolina Mustard sauce (or spicy brown mustard)
3 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
2 ounces Bread & Butter pickles (or thinly sliced dill pickles)
2 ounces Carrot Pickles
4 ounces sliced honey ham
3 ounces Mojo pork loin (see recipe below)
2 ounces sliced Genoa salami
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat a panini press or a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lay bread, open side up, on a work surface and spread the bottom and top halves with mustard. Layer bottom and top halves with Swiss cheese. Working only on bottom halves, layer on all of the pickles, ham, roast pork, and salami (if using). Close sandwiches, pressing gently.
Butter top and bottom of the sandwich press and press sandwiches with moderate pressure until crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes. If using a cast iron skillet or griddle, melt half of the butter in the pan and add sandwiches. Use a second pan to press on them as the first side crisps. When crisp, flip sandwiches, add remaining butter, swirl to coat, and continue cooking while pressing until crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Slice sandwiches in half diagonally and serve immediately.
MOJO PORK LOIN
1 pound pork loin roast, fat trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for searing the pork
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, spices and salt in a zipper-top bag or 2-quart container with a lid. Add the pork, seal, and toss to thoroughly coat the pork. Refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade. Place in the pan and sear well on all sides. Transfer pork to a baking sheet and place in the oven to finish cooking to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees in the center. Tent to keep warm and rest 5 minutes.