Yum-O Cubano

Back on New Year’s Eve, I didn’t want to deal with shuffling around baking sheets of grocery store frozen appetizers because of my very small oven. The oven is a built-in wall Whirlpool oven. It’s almost a couple feet up from the floor but a real pain in the you no where. I can’t use the larger than 13″ baking sheets that I used to get by with in the past.

This year I opted to have a meal. Now, that sounds like a lot of work, but the way I did it was not that difficult and less frustrating. The bonus was that I had enough for another meal, which went into the freezer for another time.

I gave Tastefully Simple’s The Cubano a try from my 30-meal kit. I wanted to pair that with the suggested Wahoo! Fries & Dipping Sauce, but as usual I tweaked things to go my way. More about that below.

Here’s how the cooking session went:

  • Rather than placing the boneless pork shoulder roast in a slow cooker, I gave the Pampered Chef Quick Cooker a try. I combined the ingredients outlined for The Cubano and poured them over the pork. I set the time under the Beef/Pork setting for 1 hour 30 minutes, beginning cooking at 6 p.m. This resulted in beautifully cooked pork in time for me to prep the sandwiches and have them ready for the family. I thought 1 hour 30 minutes sure beat the 8 to 10 hours on low or the 6 to 8 hours on high via slow cooker.
  • The pork shredded beautifully with a couple forks. I didn’t have the luxury of having a Pampered Chef Salad Chopper then, but the forks worked out fine.
  • I don’t have a panini press, which was suggested in the recipe. I don’t intend to get one either because it would take up valuable space, seeing that I wouldn’t use it very often. The rolls I got that were what Walmart calls gourmet or artisan worked just fine in place of the panini pressed-Bolilla rolls suggested by Tastefully Simple. I have yet to try this with a loaf of French bread. Still, one has to remember that the pork is the star, being brought to its full flavor potential using the sauce mix.
  • If a person really wanted the panini press effect on the bread, I found a note at the bottom of the recipe indicating that a heavy skillet could be used. I just didn’t want to drag out any more pans or skillets than I had to due to limited space and ambition. I also didn’t want to risk getting burned from a hot pan just to flatten bread halves out.
  • My Walmart grocery app order substituted frozen waffle fries with seasoned waffle fries. I chose not to mess with those, leaving them as is, and didn’t make any dip either. There was so much flavor to The Cubano meat that I didn’t want to mute that out with anything more. If I were to try the Wahoo! Fries recipe, I would go easy on the Wahoo! Chili Seasoning unless you really like the heat with seasonings.
  • After I had the sandwiches assembled, I just popped them into a warm oven, not only to keep them warm until everyone came in from doing chores out in the barn but to allow time to melt that dairylicious Swiss cheese a tad.

The best part is that this meal wasn’t hard to prepare and didn’t take up that much time with the Quick Cooker.  The ingredients were not that difficult to put together, though the flavors came though from the meat like it took me hours and really were impressive. This is also one of those recipes you can make ahead. The pulled pork and mayo mixture can be prepped and refrigerated up to a day ahead. I definitely would make this again for a special event or holiday or just because I have a hankering for pulled pork.

  • Find The Cubano recipe here.
  • Shop for Tastefully Simple ingredients individually here.
  • Discover TS To You delivery service here.


  1. Dianna says:

    This was so descriptive of how you make your small kitchen work, improvising with the equipment and tools that you have, and making adjustments in the recipe where it would work for you. I think some women think they can’t make home-prepared meals because of lack of space, lack of whatever — but you demonstrate otherwise!

  2. jenniferwise4heritagemakers says:

    Wow, that looks so good. The crock pot is my favorite tool for fall-apart meat like that. I bet the Cubano seasonings were amazing. Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing at #heartandsoullinkup

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