Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cubano Croissants ala Christina Tosi

I was casually reading the HuffPost Taste section Friday morning when the title "Christina Tosi's Cubano Croissant" caught my eye.  I am absolutely crazy about Cubano sandwiches and when I saw the chance of making it as a croissant-well my little heart skipped a beat !  Add to the fact that it was a recipe from Christina Tosi,  the 2012 James Beard Rising Star Chef- it couldn't get any better. Christina is the founding chef of Momofuku Milk Bar and if you haven't made her crazy delicious Crack Pie  yet, you should.

Warning-this is a very time consuming but "simple" recipe. Simple meaning basic cooking and baking methods-nothing fancy required. Time consuming yes - 15-20 minutes to make the dry rub; 6-12 hours to roast the pork shoulder; 20-30 minutes to make the mojo marinade; 30 minutes to make the relish butter;a minimum of 3 hours to make the croissant dough;and about 1 hour to fill and bake the croissants !  Would I do it again ?  Not next week, but yes I will make these again-they are freaking incredible.  You can't believe the taste.  A buttery,flaky croissant dotted with dill relish,a schmear of yellow mustard, then filled with ham,Swiss cheese and the mojo marinated pulled pork. We ate these for dinner Monday night and all we could do while eating was make those mm mm sounds between bites.  I lost count of how many times J said this was the best sandwich he ever had.  I second that !

I started this recipe on Saturday-cooked the pork for about 9 hours.  On Sunday I made the relish butter and on Monday morning I made the croissant dough.  By Monday afternoon I was ready to roll these little beauties and pop them in the oven.  The recipe stated that they should be baked for 2-25 minutes at 375degrees.  My oven has been calibrated so I know it's accurate-my baking time was more like 45 minutes until they got that beautiful caramelized brown color. (I've listed a few other changes I made to the recipe below).  I could barely wait for them to cool down before that first test bite.  OMG , that is all I can say.  The recipe appears at the end of the You Tube Video.  Christina Tosi uses her "mother dough recipe" for the croissants and if you have her Milk Bar Cookbook you can find the recipe there.  Otherwise,use your favorite croissant recipe.  My policy is not to list a recipe unless it's on the Internet already and the Mother Dough isn't. You might be able to find it here.  Buy the book,it's filled with wonderful scrumptious recipes !

I made a few changes to the recipe:
  1.  I used dill relish in the relish butter and a combination 1/2 dill relish and 1/2 of sweet relish in the marinade.
  2. I added Swiss cheese to my layers when putting the croissant together-one below the pork filling and one on top of the pork filling-I've always had my Cubano's with cheese.
  3. And the next time I will use my slow cooker to make the pork-the oven dried it out too much-I should have trusted my instincts.  When I put it in the oven a little voice said use the slow cooker but I ignored it. 
  4. I chopped the pork mixture into smaller pieces-made it more manageable to form into the little mounds before rolling the croissants.
  5. I quadrupled the ingredients for the marinade-the amount the original recipe called for barely gave a tiny hint of taste to the 6 lb pork shoulder I made.
  6. I used a full recipe for the "mother dough"-that gave me enough dough for 12 nice sized croissants and I still had lots of pork left over (very good as Cubano sliders on those Hawaiian buns !)
Happiness does not come from doing easy work
but from the afterglow of satisfaction
that comes after the achievement of a difficult task
that demanded our best.
-Theodore Isaac Rubin

Honestly, I will definitely make these again- and there was a huge amount of satisfaction when I completed these !

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, bravo! That is quite an involved process, glad the reward was worth the work.