Make dad a ‘Twisted’ Cuban sandwich on his special day |

Make dad a ‘Twisted’ Cuban sandwich on his special day

Special to the Daily/Billy Doran

When I was contemplating which recipe to feature this week, the foods that popped into my head were strawberries and watermelon. Then, I started thinking, what is going on this weekend that we will be cooking for? Father’s Day is Sunday, and it would be a sub-par celebration at my house if I served my baby-daddy a whole lot of watermelon and berries. My 8-year-old daughter helped me pick out this healthy sandwich with pork and ham — we will do bacon for breakfast — as she thinks dudes will dig into it.

Sandwiches are an easy, filling food for lunch or dinner. I really don’t think I have met a man that does not nosh into a tasty sammy. We start with pork tenderloin for two reasons: It is low in fat and cooks really fast. According to Men’s Health, pork tenderloin has less fat per ounce than chicken breast. It is also high in minerals, such as iron and magnesium, and you can buy the perfect size tenderloin at the grocery store. As with most proteins, season both sides with salt and pepper.

Colorful Cooking always adds fruits and vegetables to dishes, so a black bean spread refreshes the classic Cuban. Black beans are full of vitamins and minerals and low in fat. If you double the spread recipe, then you can use it as a dip for tortilla chips. It has an earthy, citrus flavor.

This is a recipe I tested on my own dad and he approved. He is in Maine right now, so I guess a phone call will have to suffice — he doesn’t like cards. There are more than 65 million fathers in the U.S., and Father’s Day is the busiest day for collect phone calls and the fourth busiest card selling day. In extensive research, I have found no studies that say dad wants to take a long walk then go to brunch. Numerous studies have told me he wants to eat animal, drink beer and/or bourbon, watch sports or maybe see “Man of Steel” on the big screen and perhaps play golf.

The Twisted Cuban sandwich goes exceptionally well with beer, pretty well with bourbon and is really awesome paired with both on the golf course. Happy Father’s Day!

Twisted Cuban Sandwich

8 ounces pork tenderloin

4 ounces sliced deli ham

2 ounces Swiss cheese

2 dill pickles, sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup black beans

1/4 teaspoon each cumin

1/4 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro

1 Tablespoons whole grain mustard

1 orange (for 2 teaspoons orange juice and zest)

2 Foccacia rolls

Slice pork tenderloin into 1/4-inch pieces. Using a mallet, pound pork to 1⁄8 inch and season each side with salt and pepper. I cook pork in saute pan over medium heat coated with canola oil, cook about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

In a food processor, blend black beans and next six ingredients until smooth. Add a little water if it is too pasty.

Spread black bean mixture on both sides of sliced bread. On one slice of bread, stack a slice of cheese, pork, one slice of ham, sliced pickles, cheese, ham and cover with top of bread.

Butter both sides of bread. Grill in a panini maker or on stovetop with a cast iron pan pressing top of sandwich while cooking. Cook for 3 minutes each side if cooking on stovetop.

Slice sandwich in half and serve with remaining orange as garnish. Or, allow to cool and wrap to eat later.

Serves 2.

Tracy Miller is TV8’s in-house cook, features recipes Saturdays on “Good Morning Vail,” teaches cooking classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and hosts private cooking parties. Contact Miller at

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