Cuban quesadillas with Carribbean chow-chow

Have you ever had a Cuban sandwich? Growing up (and living) in south Florida, Cuban sandwiches are as common as oranges and alligators here. In case you’re not as familiar with them.. I’ll explain one to you.  Cuban sandwiches are usually made with Cuban bread, which is similar to French bread,  except it’s a bit more flaky than crusty. The sandwich itself contains yellow mustard, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles. It is then placed in a buttered sandwich press, cooked, and sliced in half and served.

There’s also a similar sandwich, called a midnight sandwich ( it originated on the streets after bars and nightclubs would let out) the main difference is the bread- the midnight sandwich is made with a richer, egg based bread. (Maybe to soak up all the Cuba Libre?) 😉 In case you’re not familiar with a Cuba Libre… it’s rum & cola with lime juice. Slurp.

How about that for some culinary information? Although I’m a gringa, growing up in South Florida has made me very well versed in the cultures that surround me. Naturally, when I saw this recipe for Cuban Quesadillas with Caribbean chow-chow I became very intrigued. I love the fact that the chow-chow (similar to relish) utilizes some of the most common produce in my fridge: avocados, mangoes, cilantro and jalapeno. And I love the fact that the sandwich uses one of my favorite cheeses: Swiss.

As far as the quesadillas went, I did make a few changes to the  recipe,  the original recipe called for shredded Swiss cheese however, I decided to make this a bit more authentic and used classic sliced Swiss cheese.

To me, Swiss is awesome in any form.

And, as you can tell from the photo, I used sliced ham instead of diced, keeping it more so like a traditional Cuban sandwich. I’m sure the original recipe would be fantastic with the shredded cheese and the diced ham- I was just not in a “dice-y” mood.

As for the chow-chow… I made the recipe exactly, and “my-oh-my” is this stuff good! I wish there was a way to jar it, because I’d make a massive batch to last me all winter long.

Fresh mango, avocado, lime, cilantro, jicama and (of course) a jalapeno to spice it up. Deeee-lish! I’m going to be making this a lot more daily.

For the complete recipe that’s all set to print go here: Cuban Quesadillas with Caribbean chow chow

A super special thank you to Sargento Foods for allowing me to try this awesome recipe and sponsoring this post.

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