The Hubs is a super picky eater.
This is a very sad thing when you like to cook and have a food blog.
He is waaaayyy better than he used to be though. Now I can actually get him to try some stuff. That is where a lot of his problem lies. He just refused to try things for one reason or another. Pretty much everything that he eats now he will say, “Man, I remember when fill in the blank random food used to freak me out.”
There are however, a few things that he has always loved. Three of those things are pickles, mustard, and pork.
So I am sure you can imagine my confusion when I learned a few years ago that the man had never had a Cuban sandwich. He probably thought it was too good to be true. He probably just imagined that the thing was covered in mayonnaise or ranch dressing and that it was just implied. He probably figured that he was safer just sticking with what was familiar. So he chickened out every time and went on back to a hamburger with nothing on it but ketchup and mustard (…yup…that’s right folks, so picky he won’t even order cheese on a burger when we go out).
Well, I am proud to tell you that I finally got him to try his first Cuban sandwich about two months ago. He was nervous. He kept asking me, “So are you sure I am going to like this?” To which I would say, “Dude. Yes. Trust me. This sandwich was made for you. What’s not to love?” He took one bite and I could immediately see that look on his face that he gets when he is eating something he loves. And do you know what he said?
“This is the best sandwich I have ever had. Thank you.”
How ’bout that?
I tried to tell him.
So now that I have him eating one of the best sandwiches imaginable, I thought I would try to knock his socks off again. “What if I made Cuban Nachos?”
I think I saw a little tear in his eye when I told him my idea.
Want me to tell you how I made them?
Since you asked.
First off, we need to make the tortilla chips.
Spray down your cookie sheet very liberally with cooking spray and place it in the oven. Turn it on to 450. Now, keep your eye on the pan. I don’t want you to burn down your kitchen, but the idea here is to give yourself a thin layer of very hot oil so that when you toss your tortilla triangles on, it fries them.
I took my pan out when the temp was around 400 because it started smoking. Again, just watch it. Only you can prevent oven fires! (…OK I’m sorry. That was cheesy…)
While the oven and pan is preheating, place 6 flour tortillas on your cutting board and cut them in half with a pizza cutter.
Next, cut them into triangles.
Hey! There’s a tortilla thief in my kitchen!
Now place them in the pan in a single layer and spray the tops with more cooking spray. I can only fit about 4 tortillas on one sheet pan so you will either need to bake them in batches or use more than one pan. Bake them for about 4-5 minutes or until golden and crispy. Immediately sprinkle with salt.
Congratulations. You just made it through the most technically challenging portion of the recipe!
Now we just need to chop up the Cuban toppings.
First, some pulled pork. We smoked a couple of tenderloins over the weekend and this is what I had leftover. You could easily use some pork from your favorite BBQ joint as long as it isn’t covered in sauce, or,hey, cut up a leftover pork chop if you want…me no care. Although, I will say that the smoked flavor is part of what makes these so yummy.
Now, take 6 slices of thinly sliced deli ham and chop it up into little pieces. You can use whatever kind strikes your fancy.
Chop up 2 pickle spears.
Woa! Look who is crawling up, making her blog debut! It’s little Monkey Mode! Hey sweet girl!
Here is the reason that I say kids “under foot” in my title. She was literally biting my ankles while I was trying to chop up the cheese. Lovely
As for the cheese, hack away at 6 slices of Swiss. If you can find a block of Swiss that you would rather grate up, then awesome. This is all I saw at the Wal-Marts while The Little Dude was squawking about something…it was a “grab the first thing you see and get the hell out” kind of situation.
Now go back to your pan of tortilla chips that you made and arrange them a little closer so that all of your yummy toppings don’t go all over the pan, but not so close that you get some chips that don’t have the goodness on them.
Now, simply layer on the Cuban toppings. Pork, ham, cheese, then pickles. Next, take your mustard and squirt it on all fancy looking. Fun!
Place it in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until our cheese is gooey and bubbly.
See why The Hubs loves me?
This is how I prove I love him. (Awwww)
The other way I show that I love him is by waiting to put the “healthy stuff” on my nachos until they are on my plate. If you find that you enjoy things like tomatoes and chopped spinach on your nachos, then be like me. It was yummy.
But you can eat them like this too. Enjoy!
6 6″ flour tortillas
salt to taste
1 1/2 cups smoked pork
6 slices thin cut deli ham
2 pickle spears
6 slices Swiss cheese
mustard to taste
To make tortilla chips:
Liberally spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place pan into a preheating 450 oven, and watch closely for smoking. When oil is hot and just beginning to smoke, remove from oven.
Meanwhile cut tortillas into triangles.
Place on hot pan and spray tops with more cooking spray.
Bake for 4-5 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with salt while still warm.
To make nachos:
Turn oven down to 350.
Chop pork, ham, cheese, and pickles into small pieces.
Place tortilla chips on baking sheet and layer on pork, ham, cheese and pickles. Squirt on desired amount of mustard.
Bake for 5-10 minutes, until toppings are hot and cheese is melted.