Miami mojo

Miami mojo

The plain ol’ B.L.T. just doesn’t compare.

Café Cubano brings a south Floridian flair to Charlottesville with its multilayered Cuban Sandwich recipe. Café Cubano owner Tony Jorge says the Cuban Sandwich—featuring a garlic-citrus “mojo” marinade—is one of his most popular lunch specials.

“I try to duplicate the mojo texture that is very common in the Miami-Latin cuisine,” Jorge says. “Although my sandwich has a slight variation from the traditional Cuban sandwich which consists of sliced pork shoulder, I use the pork loin due to the fact that it is a leaner cut, and in my opinion, better tasting pork,” he says.

A taste that would perk up even an ailing dictator: marinated pork loin done up panini-style.

This sandwich involves a little delayed gratification: You have to let the pork loin marinate in the mojo for a day. But the taste of the crusty bread, melted cheese, combined with the sweet pickles and marinated pork, will be worth the wait.

Café Cubano’s Cuban Sandwich

Sandwich Ingredients:
Cuban bread
5-6 oz. pork loin (pre-cooked),
   marinated in mojo sauce
2 slices Black Forest ham
6 slices imported Swiss cheese
5 to 6 sweet pickles
sweet mustard
butter, softened

Mojo Sauce Ingredients:
juice of 4 lemons
juice of 5 limes
juice of 5-6 slightly green oranges,
   not fully ripened
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. minced garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
hint of shallots
3 diced bay leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Day One:
Whisk all mojo sauce ingredients until well blended. The pork loin (1 loin, about 2 3/4 lbs.) is cooked, then chilled, then marinated in the mojo base for approximately one day. This will give you enough meat for eight sandwiches.

Day Two:
After the pork loin has been marinated, heat it up in a skillet or flat top with a bit of olive oil. Serve it on Cuban bread. Next, spread one side of the Cuban bread with sweet mustard and the other side with mayonnaise. Heat up slices of the Black Forest ham and imported Swiss cheese and place on the sandwich. Top off with sweet pickles. Spread softened butter on top of the bread and then press the sandwich on a Panini presser for a minute. Serve with chips and fresh salsa.

A taste that would perk up even an ailing dictator: marinated pork loin done up panini-style.