Pan Cubano.

(Left) The bread-making process. (Right) Cuban sandwich w/ ham, slow-cooked pork, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, pressed between hot cast iron skillets. © Ryan Schierling

With all of my posts from the "Ugly Food" series, I figured it was time for a palate cleanser of sorts. Something a little prettier.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, there are quite a few demographics that are woefully under-represented when it comes to cuisine. We're about as far away as you can get (geographically and culinarily) from Cuban food, and there's only one restaurant that I know of in Seattle that can make a proper Cuban sandwich. (Don't even get me started on the dearth of Mexican restaurants around here - I think it's half the reason Wm. A. jumped ship for L.A.)

I suppose I could have just stopped at Paseo, but being an adventurous (read as: occasionally impulsive and foolish) sort, I decided to make Pan Cubano. 

So, while the pork shoulder was slow-cooking in a mixture of onions, garlic, apple juice and hot sauce, I demolished the kitchen by making bread. At the end of the day, I had more fresh bread and pork than I knew what to do with – and I couldn't possibly eat any more Cuban sandwiches – so friends and neighbors were fed as well.

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