Cuban Sandwiches with Tomato Jam

So after a HUGE and DELICIOUS Thanksgiving meal courtesy of Mama Ingle (thanks Mom!) I really wanted to do something light and healthy, therefore I chose a sandwich jam-packed with Gruyere cheese, grilled onions, jalapenos, prosciutto, pickles, shredded pork and a homemade tomato jam. Yeah, light and healthy just like I said. this Cuban Sandwiches with Tomato Jam recipe from Food and Wine magazine after eating everything in sight the past few days, but alas I did and I’m quite happy about my choice thank you very much.

I don’t know what the heck compelled me to try

This recipe looks more labor-intensive than it really is. It’s actually more “set it and forget it” than lots of steps that make you want to pull your hair out. You let the pork roast for four hours and make the homemade tomato jam that sits for about an hour at a low temperature. After the jam and pork were done, everything else assembled pretty quickly and then you simply grill the foil-wrapped sandwich which made the cheese melty and the bread nice and crispy. This sucker throws a flavor uppercut so prepare to be floored by how yummy everything is once it is grilled. I loved all of these flavors together and honestly was a little surprised that it all worked out as amazingly as it did.


Try making this on a lazy, football Sunday (ha I just came across this video when looking for fitting “Lazy Sunday” images) and you will have a tasty and unique sandwich for the Sunday night game. I served baked chips and fresh mango on the side. Also, I reserved the leftover tomato jam (since it’s just me) for a later use and the remaining pork I will use for lunch to place inside some corn tortillas with some light sour cream and fresh avocado. Love it!

Cooking Light’s Beer-Battered Fish and Chips

Well, Cooking Light and I are having a blessed day of cooking aren’t we? Let’s see, we’ve gone to Miami, now let’s go across the pond to the U.K. shall we? This was sort of a random lunch as I had some leftover cod from a recipe I tested last night and decided on the spot to make their Beer-Battered Fish and Chips.

YUM! I am most certainly not a fish and chips expert nor do I normally seek them out, so you can imagine how surprised I was that I loved these so much. The breading was perfect and with a bit of lemon juice (they didn’t recommend it but I wanted it anyway), salt and malt vinegar, these were delicious and the small batch of perfectly baked fries really rounded out this traditional meal.

This felt way more indulgent than it really is and I’m sure it is way healthier than the real version. I can see this being a good alternative to fish sticks because it really doesn’t have a fishy taste and gives a satisfying salty, crunch.
Now I managed to get through this post without doing anything stereotypically British, although I must admit that in my head I was using my British voice – you know you have one – while typing this. I did want to share one of my favorite commercials that has a funny British twist.
Here is the recipe, enjoy!
1 pound cod fillets, cut into 3-inch pieces (they recommend Alaskan Cod and I used it too)


1 cup dark beer (such as Negro Modelo), divided
1 pound baking potatoes, cut into (1/4-inch) strips
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
3.38 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
Preheat over to 450 degrees. Combine fish and 1/4 cup beer in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Place potatoes on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oi, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss well. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned and crisp, stirring after 10 minutes. Drain fish; discard liquid. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine remaining 3/4 cup beer, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl.
Add fish to beer mixture, tossing gently to coat. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from bowl, shaking off excess batter. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn fish over; cook 3 minutes or until done. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve immediately with chips.

Cooking Light’s Breakfast Tortilla

Here in Austin the go-to for breakfast is typically the breakfast taco filled with eggs and cheese and then your choice of sausage/chorizo, bacon, potatoes, jalapenos and so on and so forth. Now in Miami, according to Cooking Light, this Breakfast Tortilla – an open-faced omelet with potatoes inside (instead of on the side) – is their go-to breakfast dish. After giving this a try for breakfast this morning I’m saying move over breakfast tacos! Kidding, kidding but seriously this was super easy to assemble and such a great alternative for breakfast than the usual eggs, bacon, toast…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The creamy Yukon gold potatoes with the delicious Manchego and spicy chives really made this dish sing. One switch up, I roasted the tomatoes in a little bit of olive oil instead of just serving them fresh. The nutrition analysis on this is none too shabby either, one wedge (from four servings) with two tablespoons of tomatoes is 190 calories, 10.7 grams of fat with 2.7 in saturated fat. What I also like about this dish is that I have enough for breakfast tomorrow which gives me a little more time in the morning…bonus!

Eating Rainbow…Eating Rainbow!

As I was eating my meal tonight, I had the theme song to Reading Rainbow in my mind the entire time. How much is this a flashback for some of you? This was one of my favorite TV shows growing up and I can still remember how excited I would get when the show started with this catchy tune. Ha, I love the dog that turns into a little star.

So why did I have this song in my head? Well, you guessed it, I was eating the colors of the rainbow for my dinner. If you’ve read food and nutrition literature over the past few years, you know that this is a very good thing. My delicious, nutritious and colorful meal was this Halibut with Spicy-Mint Chutney over a bed of fresh spinach and a baked sweet potato with a little bit of butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and a few chopped walnuts. For dessert, I had a mix of fresh pomegranate seeds and raspberries. Let’s see, I definitely got my green, orange, red and yellow from the little bit of lemon juice. Awesome.

I loved every aspect of this meal and that chutney is spicy, creamy and perfect. Gosh I just love sauces, chutney and relishes. To me, anything you can drizzle, dip, glop, gloop or pour over something else is ideal , and Cooking Light has a thing for nailing delicious, low fat/low-cal sauces. Love, love this dish!

Yer Favourites

I’ll give someone a digital high five if you can tell me, without Googling it, where that title comes from. Not only is it from one of my favorite bands, but the it reminded me that I actually made it to my 100th post. Now I could say something like “you know anyone can make it to 100 but it takes true intestinal fortitude to get to 103.” Yeah right, it actually just slipped my mind that I made it to this not very important milestone, however it is one that I would like to celebrate anyway!

Seriously though lambs, to all one to two of you who do happen to read my cooking “memoirs” I have just loved updating this blog with my memories, thoughts and cooking tales these past 100ish posts and I’m raising a glass to you for what I hope will be 100ish more.

For this special occasion I wanted to look back over Cooking Inside the Lines and do a best of/worst of just for fun. If you want to listen to Barbara Streisand’s The Way We Were while reading please be my guest.

My top 10 favorites recipes tested so far and in no particular order
  1. Strawberry, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Pizza
  2. Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder
  3. Open-Face Pork Tacos
  4. Doughnut Holes with Raspberry Jam
  5. Open-Face Crab Burgers
  6. Cod with Mussels, Chorizo, Fried Croutons and Saffron Mayonnaise
  7. Asparagus Salad with Soft Poached Eggs
  8. Grilled Pork with Blackberry Sage Sauce
  9. Coffee Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas BBQ Sauce
  10. Cheddar BLT Burger with Tarragon Dressing
The recipe that I thought was going to be delicious but um, just wasn’t

Recipe that looked delicious but didn’t think it was going to knock my socks off the way it did
Dumbest Post By Yours Truly
Winner: All of Cooking Inside the Lines :) Kidding kind of, but I think this one might be one of the dumbest.
Month with the most posts and why
September. I’ll admit it, I learned to clone myself. That or I went through that cleansing process and posted my thoughts for seven straight days. Let’s go with cloning, I like that reason better.
Month with the least posts (besides November since I’m just getting started) and why
February. Well it was my blog’s birth month so I’ve got to stretch my legs a little bit right?
My Favorite Post
I would love to hear from the two of you any favorites (or stupid moments) that might have inspired you.


Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Split Sandwiches

This simple twist on a traditional peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich from Cooking Light makes it “ice cream split” style by adding chocolate chips, strawberries and pineapple jam. Please go back and read that sentence again. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

How delicious does that sound!?

I can happily report that this scrumptious and easy to assemble sandwich lives up to its yummy sounding name. I mean how can you go wrong with this combo? It is very sweet so if you don’t have a sweet tooth then this may not be for you, however since I’m like a five-year old kid I loved it. Is it bad that I was wondering how this would taste with bacon on it?
I loved how everything melted together once you grilled the sandwich so it got all gooey and melty. Two switch outs were I used whole wheat bread and instead of butter I used Smart Balance spread to cut it down a smidge. This was a little messy when you tried to assemble but who cares it’s cooking!
Now this is a wee bit of an indulgence but hey I was watching the Horns beat the Baylor Bears so that’s better than traditional football fare eh? Please for the love of sandwiches make this one right away.

An Oldie But a Goodie

I’ve mentioned a few times that out of all of the cooking magazine issues I keep, it is usually the holiday issues. Not only am I a 5-year old trapped in a 29-year old body when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I love the food so much it is almost painful for me when the holidays are over. (You should see me when I have to take down my holiday decorations, there might be tears involved).
I was thumbing through my old Cooking Light 2007 and 2008 December issues last week and as if I was looking through an old photo album of loved ones, I kept sighing and pointing to certain recipes saying internally, “I remember the time I made that, how delicious and I need to retest and see if it is Cooking Inside the Lines worthy!” Now, you can imagine the grumblings that occurred internally too when I found three delicious looking recipes from the 2008 issue that I had not tried. Quel horreur!

I have to say I planned the timing out pretty well and everything came together very easily, even towards the end of cooking which can sometimes get pretty insane. The Pork Chops were pretty darn awesome. I really liked the Colonial Corn Pudding a lot. Instead of oyster crackers I used multi-grain saltine crackers and they tasted great in the dish. The baked potatoes were good but I think I used too much chipotle that overpowered the other flavors a bit.

Finally, the cobbler. I found some quince at Whole Foods Market the other day and because when cooked it can lend an apple flavor to dishes, I decided to use these instead. This was my first time working with quince and I have to say me likey. Quince is a tough little bugger so it’s best to poach or cook for long periods of time to bring the full flavors out and soften it up. I poached the cut-up quince for 45 minutes before placing in my cast-iron Dutch oven to finish the cobbler recipe. It was delicious! I loved this topping and the quince did take on an apple flavor but had a more firm texture than an apple would have.

I think this meal was a perfect comfort dinner for a rainy night here in Austin. Give them a try!

Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake

I love salt. If I ever have to choose over that bowl of salty potato chips or sweet chocolate, the chips will always win. Now, if you can combine the two, kind of like they do with Whoppers (or other favorite chocolate treat) and movie popcorn I am one giddy lady. If you are saying that you’ve never tried this, you are either (a) lying or (b) haven’t truly lived. Now kicking this salty/chocolate-y combo up a notch with their Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake, Cooking Light has delivered a stellar cake recipe.
For a cake, this was very simple for even someone like me to make. Also, it’s an impressive looking cake so it makes you look like an absolute superstar without having to try too hard. Kind of like that old Rice Krispy treat commercial where the mom comes out covered in flour and feigns exhaustion except this is tastier and with salt – lovely, lovely, crunchy, crunchy Fleur de Sel salt. This cake is in the magazine’s special cooking section for the holidays but I say heck make it for any special occasion. Cat passes a hairball? Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake. Sat through an entire episode of the new season of Heroes without rolling your eyes once? Salted Chocolate Ganache Cake. You get the point.