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Cooking the Book: “One Big Roast, Three Great Meals” (Pork Edition) Leftovers, Take 3

2012 November 15

Here were are on Round 3 of the pork leftovers and surprisingly, we’re not tired of pork yet. I have to admit that even though the posts are coming out all together, we have been spacing the recipes out in real life, so it’s been more of a pork leftovers every other day or so and not back-to-back-to-back. Though I really think this mini-collection of recipes are different enough that you don’t really feel like you’re eating the same damn thing every night for a solid week even if you didn’t space them out. Plus, it’s great to have something that’s guaranteed to be easy/is barely cooking already teed up for a couple of nights if you’re expecting a busy week. In fact, Mr. Kitchenette actually put this one together all by his onsies while I was bogged down with “real” work.

The Good

It was ready in a flash! And without making a big mess in our wee kitchen, which is what should happen when you’re having dinner based on leftovers.

I think the pickles really make the sandwich, but it’s also the perfect balance of tender meat and melty cheese that make it tasty. It’s an all-around, well-balanced, great-tasting sandwich… high praise from this not-really-a-sandwich fan, amIright?

The Bad

Definitely have  a couple of side dishes at the ready. I had intended to make a pot of Cuban-style black beans with this, but the day got away from me and I think we had chips or something with it… That would make for an okay lunch, but for dinner, you may be left wanting more. Also, pickles are barely a vegetable. I clearly should have been more on top getting a side-salad together for this.

The Leftovers

While pulling out the ingredients, Mr. K kept asking me why a pork sandwich needed another pork product on it (the ham slices). I didn’t have an answer for him and I don’t have one for you now, either, if you’re wondering. A little research into these sandwiches and all I’ve come up with is that it’s tasty and key to a traditional Cubano but no one seems to know how they got started or much about their provenance. There are apparently some places that add Genoa salami (!), but again, no real clarity on the origins there. I’m sure it would be an even better sandwich with some authentic Cuban bread; if you can get your hands on some, let me know how it goes…

We still have a bunch of pork left over, so to wrap up the whole process, I guess I have to say that using an 8-pound pork roast in the original recipe is probably too much even for three days of leftovers. It does, however, give Mr. K a chance to make his own version of pork fried rice. And I’ll get another crack at that soup, which was easily my favorite of this mini recipe collection.

Do you have a great recipe for leftover roast pork or any ideas for one? Shoot ’em to me in the comments!

Cuban Sandwiches

from Cooking for Two, 2011

Serves 2

The cooked pork in this recipe is from Slow-Roasted Pork with Peach Sauce.


1 Tablespoon mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 6-inch sub rolls, split partially open lengthwise

2 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

6 ounces cooked pork (see note), sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 4 slices)

2 thin slices deli ham

1 sweet or dill pickle, sliced thin lengthwise [we like dill, which is also the traditional choice]


Combine mayonnaise and mustard in small bowl and spread evenly inside each roll. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons cheese on one side of each roll, then top with cooked for, ham, pickle and remaining cheese. Fold over top of roll and press gently to flatten.

Heat 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Place sandwiches in pan and set Dutch oven on top. Cook sandwiches until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side. Serve.


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