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Posts tagged ‘Jorge Castillo’

Elena Ruz Redux

Stuffing, cranberries, and sweet potatoes go fast but there’s always more turkey. I haven’t re-posted often but this weekend has been all about leftovers so it made sense to test out my bread making skills, practice my sandwich pressing, and revisit Elena Ruz.

The Elena Ruz sandwich always seemed a little out of place on the menu.  A combination of roasted turkey, cream cheese and strawberry preserves, it floats alongside the heavier ham, lechon asado and cheese melds of Cuban lunch menus – lighter and prettier with a first and last name.  Named for Elena Ruz, a Havana socialite who had the unusual combination made to order for her at El Carmelo.  Then a fashionable cafe in the 1930s, it landed on the menu becoming a popular item.  According to later interviews, her parents were scandalized to see a sign for “Sandwich Elena Ruz 25 centavos” on display, though as she pointed out the other sandwiches only went for 10 cents at the time. Read more

Pan de Medianoche

Recently, when I was asking friends and family how they felt about the sandwich Cubano, I was surprised at how many said they preferred medianoches.  Similar to the Cubano but smaller and sweeter, the medianoche or “midnight” sandwich was sold in Havana nightclubs to tired dancers at late night cafes.  Also tired from my last miss at making a pan de agua loaf, I decided to medianoche bread instead.  If you live in South Florida, making Cuban bread at home makes as much sense as churning your own butter.  It’s as easy to find there as it’s impossible everywhere else, so I was excited to see this recipe for the challah-like bread on the Three Guys From Miami site.  I spent all day fussing over the rolls like a nervous mother – will the yeast bubble, do I knead more, will they rise? Read more