Friday, August 13, 2010

Florida State Dinner

Cuban sandwich
Florida fruit salad
Tostones (fried plantains)
Orange juice
Key lime pie

This is more of a southern Florida menu. Cuban sandwiches and fried plantains are found throughout the Miami area. Miami, of course, has a large Cuban population. We can't get Cuban bread around here so I used a loaf of French bread. If you wanted to make your own Cuban bread, here is a recipe. It's a two-day process, so plan ahead! My husband is not a big sandwich eater but he really liked these sandwiches. I roasted a pork ribeye roast the day before after marinating it with some Italian dressing. After it cooled, I sliced it thinly and then it sat in its own juices in the fridge overnight. As a result, it added moisture to the bread. I pressed the slices of sandwich in my George Foreman grill until the bread was crispy. Then I wrapped them tightly in foil and put them in a warm oven (about 170*F) to heat thoroughly before serving.

Florida is famous for her citrus crops. The orange blossom is the state flower, the orange is the state fruit and orange juice is the official state beverage.

Key limes are not exclusive to the Florida Keys (the ones I used came from Mexico) but they are different from regular limes you'll find at the grocery store. If you can't find fresh Key limes, you can probably find a bottle of Key lime juice. The recipe above calls for 1/2 cup Key lime juice, about 12 limes. I ended up using about 24 limes to get 1/2 cup.

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