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Cheeseburger in Paradise

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    Menu Description: “Ham, salami, pork, Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard and pickles, pressed until golden brown.”

    This chain of island-themed restaurants features a delicious Cuban sandwich as one of the menu’s specialty items. A variety of meats are stacked on a crusty sandwich roll along with some pickles, then the sandwich is pressed until warm and flattened on a plancha grill. While there are many different ways to build a Cuban sandwich, the traditional recipe does not include mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce or onions. Cheeseburger in Paradise breaks tradition a bit by spreading some mayonnaise on the bread, but that’s okay, because otherwise this recipe stays true to the classic formula. Marinated pork is the superstar in this sandwich, so we must make that from scratch using juices plus lots of garlic, onion and oregano. We’ll marinate the pork for a couple hours just as the restaurant does, then bake it in a slow oven. When the pork is ready and sliced you stack it on the sandwich with other sliced deli meats, some Swiss cheese and pickles, and then it’s ready to be browned. I don’t expect you’ll have a plancha grill handy, but you can use a hot skillet with another very heavy pan, such as a cast iron skillet, to press down on top of the sandwich. I also like to put a brick in the skillet on top to help flatten the sandwich even more. For a true Cuban experience serve these along with a pitcher of mojitos and have everyone do their best Ricky Ricardo impression. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "Slow-cooked marinated domestic pork ribs lightly seasoned with Jerk spices and basted with BBQ sauce."

    An island taste in the secret jerk paste formula permeates the ribs as they slow cook in low heat. Halfway through cooking the ribs are wrapped in foil to begin a braising process that tenderizes the meat. And for a big finish, the racks are tossed on the grill just before serving then basted with a delicious scratch sauce. Follow the grilling instructions here and you won't lose any meat from your ribs sticking to the barbecue grate. Start by grilling the ribs bony-side-down so that some of the fat from the ribs melts onto your grill. Now when you flip the racks over onto the meaty side the grill is well-lubricated, giving you beautiful grill marks on the good part, and no sticking. And don't freak out about that whole habanero pepper included in the jerk paste. Sure, it may be one of the world's hottest peppers, but the paste goes a long way, and you should only detect a hint of heat on the finished product. If you're a chilihead, go ahead and add more than one. Serve up these babies with a side of my hacked Sweet Potato Chips clone for an authentic CIP experience.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Fried sweet potato chips, dusted with our seasoning blend."

    The same company that runs Outback Steakhouse operates this 39-outlet chain inspired by the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name. As you would guess, the freshly-ground beef burgers here are great. But you'll also find many Caribbean island-inspired dishes on the menu such as BBQ Jerk Ribs, Tropical Talapia, St. Barts Citrus Chicken, and amazing island cocktail creations served at the Tiki Bar. One of the specialties of the house is the Sweet Potato Chips that are fried to a golden brown, sprinkled with a secret sweet/salty seasoning, and served alongside the joint's sandwich selections, or ordered as an appetizer. For a home version, sweet potatoes are sliced thin using a vegetable slicer that is set on 1/16th of an inch, and the slices are fried in canola oill. After a sprinkling with the special seasoning blend, you'll have a big bowl of sweet, crispy chips that will serve four or more people. And these go great as a side with the BBQ Jerk Ribs clone.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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