February 05, 2021. Dear Daughters- The second and final entry in the Super Bowl Sandwich Showdown takes inspiration from the delicious Cuban sandwiches you find in Tampa Bay, but with roasted vegetables in place of the roasted pork and ham. You can really use any roasted vegetable in the sandwich, but I like the meaty texture and taste of roasted eggplant and the suppleness of roasted peppers.
One of you kids always tells me if I have to explain the joke, it’s probably not that funny, but I beg to differ as I explain why the name of this sandwich is so funny- at least to a Dad. A cubanelle is a rather mild pepper found in Cuban dishes so Cubanelle is the perfect play on words for a vegetarian Cuban sandwich. As an additional bonus, “elle” is French for “she”, which is the ideal ending for this sandwich since this recipe has made especially with you “shes” in mind.
Now all you need to do is make both sandwiches to decide who wins the Super Bowl Sandwich Showdown- the Kansas City BBQ Pulled Mushroom Bun (-3) or the Tampa Bay Cubano!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
GET YOUR STUFF OUT
- 2 pounds peppers, like cubanelle, bell, jalapeño and/or poblano, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 medium sized eggplants or 2 lbs. other roast worthy vegetables, like zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/3″ slabs
- 2-4 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons ponzu or low sodium soy sauce
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup mustard
- Quick Pickle Strips (recipe below)
- 4- 6″ sections Cuban Bread- if you can find any (I couldn’t) use any quality sandwich loaf
- 4 tablespoons cow or plant butter
COOK AND PLAY
Get inspired by the music of this powerful and innovative woman, Cuban, jazz vocalist, Daymé Arocena, while you cook.
- Roast Veggies. Set up top and bottom oven racks and preheat broiler to high. Arrange peppers on baking sheet. and eggplants on another baking sheet. Season both sides of eggplant with oil and ponzu sauce. Place peppers on top rack and eggplant on bottom rack and cook until well roasted. The peppers should be blistered and blackened so they are easy to peel- about 5-10 minutes with a good broiler. The peppers should finish cooking before the eggplant, so continue to cook the eggplant, with the oven at 400 degrees, flipping from time to time, until a rich brown color, about 10-15 minutes more. While the vegetables are roasting, mix the mayo and mustard together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Peel a Peck of Peppers. Place roasted peppers in a bowl and use oven mitts to cover with baking sheet you cooked them on. After 5 minutes, turn peppers out onto pan and, once cool to the touch, peel skin off peppers and remove stems and seeds as well.
- Make That Sandwich. Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Slather mayo-mustard all over inside of each loaf and stuff with cheese, eggplant, peppers, pickles and another slice of cheese on top. Don’t be a Dad and overstuff your sandwich since that will make it harder to grill and eat. Once all sandwiches are made, spread a thin layer of butter on bottom of each sandwich before you place it in the frying pan. Place a heavy pan on top of the sandwiches and adjust heat to toast to a nice golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Remove heavy pan, spread a thin layer of butter on the top of each sandwich and flip to toast that side, with heavy pan on top- another 4-5 minutes.
Quick Pickle Strips. Use a vegetable peeler to cut 6” long strips from a seedless cucumber- cutting as wide as you can with peeler. Place strips in shallow dish and cover with 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes. Toss every now and again over 10 minutes time, or longer, for more tang, if you can. Slices keep in refrigerator for several days, if not longer, but that’s your call.
Dad Recipe Swap. If you’re making this for carnivorous friends, replace the veggies with 2 ounces of thinly sliced ham and 2 ounces of thinly sliced roast pork for each sandwich.
Keyword: sandwich, party food, vegetarian, vegan option
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