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We were out to dinner a couple of nights ago with some serious foodie friends – one of them being an accomplish food writer of many years, and the conversation made its way around to movies we had recently seen. One film in particular had us all gabbing, Chef. Have you seen this gem of a movie starring, written, directed and produced by Jon Favreau? You should.

There were so many things that I loved about this movie; the characters and the incredible casting of the perfect actors for the parts, the killer Latin music, the unbelievable riffs of food preparation that had my mouth-watering and my stomach growling throughout the movie, but most of all, it was the simple passion for food, life and love that spoke to me. If you have ever dreamt about telling your boss to go stuff it and starting a business of your own, you’ll find this film inspiring.

Check out the film’s trailer here:

Veggie Cuban Sandwich

We walked out of the theater wishing there was a food truck waiting for us with a messy, dripping, hot off the grill Cuban sandwich, only vegetarian style for me. After discussing the movie again with our friends, I found myself craving a Cuban again so I decided to make a vegetarian Cuban sandwich, which turned out amazing. I served it up with some plantain chips and fresh fruit and it was all that I had hoped for. Now all I need is the truck.

Veggie Cuban sandwich 1

Veggie Cuban Sandwich
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • 4 sub rolls, ciabatta, or French baguette cut lengthwise
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 4-6 Swiss cheese slices
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, roasted, skins removed and julienned
  • ½ cup or so yellow mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 dill pickle slices
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  1. Over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons butter in a sauté pan. Place garlic and mushrooms in the pan and sauté for 7-10 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside and wipe pan out with a paper towel.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and add the onions. Cook the onions until they begin to brown and caramelize.
  3. Spread one inside of each roll with a teaspoon or so of butter and the other side with yellow mustard.
  4. Layer the Swiss cheese, mushroom slices, onions, peppers and pickles on the bottom half of each roll and then cover with the top half.
  5. Place the veggie Cubans on a hot and heavily buttered griddle, grill, panini pan or pan. Press the tops of the sandwiches down firmly and hold for a minute or so and then do the same to the others. When the bottoms begin to brown in a couple of minutes, carefully flip them and press them again. The pressing will give them a nice crispy crust while keeping the inside soft.
  6. Remove from heat, cut in half and serve.


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