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US Cooking Challenge 18: Florida

 My heart stopped dead in its tracks when I rolled Florida, because I was convinced it was going to be seafood. Thank my lucky stars Florida is known for the Cuban food, so I was safe once again.  I know it's going to turn out that I roll all the seafood states in a row and am going to have a solid 2-3 months of straight seafood. Maybe I should hope to roll a seafood challenge soon just to get some out of the way. Oh man, I am dreading that so much.

But let's not focus on the negative! Let's focus on Florida! The Sunshine State!

Florida friends were quick to let me know that I had to make a Cuban Sandwich (also known as The Cubano) and Key Lime Pie. My mouth immediately started watering and then I went to work. Key Lime pie is one of my very favorites, but I had never made one myself. The Cuban Sandwich was new to me completely. 

We were all major fans of both dishes and I highly recommend these recipes. They were scrumptious!

Cuban Sandwich AKA The Cubano

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  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces Cuban or Italian bread loaf 
  • 1 pound Swiss cheese 
  • 1 pound smoked ham 
  • 1 cup pickle chips
  • mustard
  • 1 tablespoon butter

- Place the olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine and place the pork in the bowl. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.

- Preheat a grill or skillet to medium high heat. Add the pork and cook for 7-9 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees F.

- Finish cooking in the oven for 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

- Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Cut the bread crosswise into 4 equal sized pieces. These are big sandwiches!

- Place half of the cheese slices on the bottom pieces of bread. Top with layers of ham, pork and pickles.
Add the rest of the cheese on top of the pickles. Spread the mustard over the top pieces of bread, then place the tops on each sandwich. 

- Melt the butter in a pan. Place one sandwich in the pan. Use a heavier pan, such as a cast iron skillet to press down on the sandwich. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted. Repeat the process with the remaining sandwiches.

KEY LIME PIE

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  • FILLING:
  • 4 tsp grated key lime zest
  •  4 
    egg yolks
  •  14 
    ounces
     
    sweetened condensed milk
  •  ½ 
    cup
     
    fresh key lime juice

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:

  •  2 
    cups
     
    graham cracker crumbs
     
  •  1/3 
    cup
     
    light brown sugar
  •  1/2 
    cup
     
    unsalted butter
     
    (melted)
  •  Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Filling: Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together in a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, then the lime juice. Set aside to thicken while you prepare the crust.
  3. Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt. Pour in the melted butter over the graham cracker mixture and toss to combine. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate, and pack tightly using the back of a measuring cup. Bake for 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

  4. Once the crust has cooled to room temperature, pour the lime filling into the crust. Bake until the center is set 15 to 17 minutes. Do not let it get brown on top! Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 3 hours. 



I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)