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Welcome to the July 6, 2011 issue of the Serious Eats Weekly Newsletter.

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This Week's Best Recipes on Serious Eats

The Science of Pie

  • The Science of Pie: Once you get a grasp of what's really going on in between those flaky layers, then making a perfect crust becomes a matter of smarts, not luck. Here's are some crust-making tips, plus an easy recipe.
  • Huli Huli Chicken: This chicken is soaked in a soy sauce-heavy brine, then smoke-roasted over a medium fire on both sides, producing a beautifully brown and crisp bird. The real magic comes with the final coat of glaze, whose pineapple juice base brings the island feel to this sauce.
  • Spinach Baked Eggs: These baked eggs have everything that's comforting about a big plate of creamed spinach, and add an egg on top.
  • Garlic Scape Tart: Sliced scapes are baked gently in a custard of fresh ricotta and eggs, mellowing their intensity without obliterating their freshness. Combined with the lemon thyme, the scapes produce a positively aromatic filling that floats on top of the hearty crust.
  • Beet Salad with Goat Cheese: This salad is sweet, juicy, and crunchy, and the tang of the goat cheese and zeal of the mint liven it up, making it fresh and summery.
  • Cream Biscuits: Cream biscuits are perfect atop a juicy cobbler, or hot out of the oven with a schmeer of salted butter and preserves.
  • Natural Cola: With its herbal citrus notes, this Natural Cola is far more nuanced and delicate than today's Coke, and it lacks that certain tooth-aching sugariness. Its complexity is almost amaro-like—dark and filled with rich, sweet aromatics, a more grown up take on a cola.

Featured Recipe

grilled cuban sandwich

[Photograph: Tara Donne]

On paper the ingredients for a Cuban sandwich are fairly run of the mill—ham, Swiss, roast pork, mustard, and pickles—but when pressed and grilled together within a loaf of Cuban bread, sandwich magic happens. Coming from Cuban roots, Lourdes Castro, author of Latin Grilling, knows a thing or two about this particular sandwich. She's adapted an authentic version for those of us who don't have the luxury of living in prime Cuban sandwich territory, i.e., South Florida.

The sandwich fixings are piled into a large loaf of buttered Cuban bread and wrapped tightly in foil. Placed on a hot grill and pressed down to really smush everything together, the cheese gets oozy, the tart pickles mingle with roast pork, and the buttered crust of the bread crisps. Once everything has gotten all good and melty, the sandwich is unwrapped and grilled for a few minutes longer. Once your giant Cuban is cool enough to handle, all that's left to do is slice, serve, and enjoy this epic variation of ham and cheese.

Reprinted with permission from Latin Grilling: Recipes to Share, from Argentine Asado to Yucatecan Barbecue and More by Lourdes Castro, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.


- serves 8 -

Equipment: grill
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


1 loaf Cuban bread, sliced lengthwise
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons yellow mustard, or to taste
1 1/2 pounds boiled ham, sliced
1 1/2 pounds roasted pork, sliced
1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
1 cup dill pickle chips, or to taste


1. Assemble the sandwich: Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on one half of the bread loaf and a thin layer of mustard on the other. Place 1 to 2 layers of ham, pork, cheese, and, finally, pickles on the buttered bread and top with the mustard-spread bread.

2. Wrap the sandwich in foil: Smear the remaining butter all over the outside of the sandwich and wrap it completely in aluminum foil.

3. Press and grill the sandwich: Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing.

4. Before grilling the sandwich, press down on it with your hands to flatten it. Place the wrapped, flattened sandwich on the grill and top with a brick, grill press, or any other heavy, heat-resistant object. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side.

5. Remove the wrapped sandwich from the grill and take off the foil. Return the sandwich to the grill and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until both pieces of bread are crispy and golden brown.

6. Slice and serve: Remove the sandwich from the grill and cut at an angle into small sandwich wedges (triangles). Place on a large platter and serve while still hot.

Last Week's Recipe

Last week's Recipe Newsletter recipe was for Skirt Steak with Red Miso.

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