Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cuban Reuben with Mojo

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The sky has been steel gray for several days now and our local landmark, Spenser Butte, is wrapped in fog so thick it looks like Witch Mountain. While it's not cold by most standards, the fog and Oregon's creeping damp can chill you to the bone in no time. The fire's warmth is tempting, but things must still be done, so, Bob and I were out and about and determined to make the day ours. By the time we returned, we were not only cold, but had lost the light and 15 degrees of Fahrenheit. I was in the mood for something tropical and Bob had a yen for corned beef. This recipe, which I've had in my files for several years, held a promise that might please us almost did. Please understand that this a nice recipe. It just wasn't nice enough to please both of us. Every once-in-a-while, I forget how much Bob knows about food. He has a very clear idea of what a Cuban sandwich should be. This didn't meet his expectations. I actually liked it, but even I had a few reservations. Let me say up front that I think it's hard to spoil a grilled sandwich that contains cheese. I just thought the cheese warred with the other ingredients. I loved the beans and I loved the simple Mojo. My strangely wired brain is already thinking about using the bean mixture to extend ground chicken and saucing the patties with the Mojo. I've a hunch that it could produce something spectacular. Now we have to get to the sticky part. Am I recommending the recipe? Yes, because it makes a perfectly fine sandwich that might truly please a bored palate. Will I make it again? No, not in this format. In fairness, while I think the original Reuben is hard to beat and easier to make, I'll let you judge for yourself. Here's the recipe.

Cuban Reuben with Mojo...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by a prize winning recipe at the 2003 Finlandia Great Sandwich Recipe Contest


1 cup mayonnaise

Zest and juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, thawed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 10-inch French or Italian baguettes

1-1/4 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained

8 ounces thinly sliced corned beef

1-1/3 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

6 slices Swiss cheese

6 slices Provolone cheese


1) To make Mojo sauce: Combine mayonnaise, lime juice and zest, orange juice, cumin, black pepper and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Mix well.

2) Cut each baguette almost in half, being careful to leave a hinge. Use 1/2 cup of Mojo to spread on cut sides of bread.

3) Mash black beans with a fork. Stir in remainder of Mojo sauce and, mixing well.

4) Layer bottom half of each loaf with 3 slices of Swiss cheese, bean mixture, corned beef, sauerkraut and 3 slices of Provolone cheese. Close loaves. Place top side down on a preheated, hot, well-oiled griddle or 12-inch skillet. Cover with foil and weight down with a heavy skillet. Cook five to six minutes. Uncover loaves, turn, re-cover with foil and weight down again. Cook until very hot and cheese begins to melt. Cut each loaf in half or thirds. Yield 4 to 6 servings.

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