Bowl Game Grub: Cuban Sliders

Well football fans the post season is on us.  The first week of bowls has given us a few fireworks and the intensity keeps building all the way up to the most important game of the college football season – the Peach Bowl between Virginia and my Auburn Tigers.  The LSU/Alabama rematch is pretty important too.  The NFL playoffs for their part are almost decided.  Whether you prefer your bowl games of the Peach or the Super variety it’s time to whip up some special recipes.

Cuban Sliders
Recipe Type: Appetiser
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 4-6
  • 12 dinner rolls
  • 1 pound (or more I won’t judge you) Cuban pulled pork
  • 6 ounces sliced smoked ham, cut to fit the dinner rolls (should make 12 servings)
  • 12 pickles
  • 3 slices aged Swiss cheese, quartered
  • Mustard to taste
  • 2-3 TBL butter, melted
  1. Preheat a griddle or pan to medium heat.
  2. Slice the dinner rolls to turn them into buns.
  3. On the bottom of each bun put a dab of mustard, a spoonful or so of pulled pork, ham, pickle and Swiss cheese. Put a little dab of mustard on the top of the bun and place on top of the slider.
  4. Paint the bottom of the griddle with some melted butter and place the sliders in the griddle and paint the tops with more melted butter. Place a large, heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches and cook for two to three minutes.
  5. Flip each sandwich and place the second pan back on top of them. Cook for another two to three minutes.
  6. To serve turn the sliders back over and brush with a little more melted butter.

Bowl Game Grub: Cuban Pulled Pork

Well football fans the post season is on us.  The first week of bowls has given us a few fireworks and the intensity keeps building all the way up to the most important game of the college football season – the Peach Bowl between Virginia and my Auburn Tigers.  The LSU/Alabama rematch is pretty important too.  The NFL playoffs for their part are almost decided.  Whether you prefer your bowl games of the Peach or the Super variety it’s time to whip up some special recipes.

Cuban Pulled Pork
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 45 mins
Serves: 8
This is great served with black beans and a little saffron rice or use it to make a Cuban Pressed Sandwich.
  • 1 3-5 pound Boston butt roast
  • 1 bottle Mojo Criolle marinade (or 2 parts range juice, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part lime juice, 1 part white wine and herbs & spices to taste)
  • Jerk seasoning and Cinnamon to taste
  1. Place the roast into a large zip top bag and pour the marinade over the top.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours turning once or twice a day.
  3. Heat a grill or Dutch oven to medium high heat. Drain the roast (reserving marinade) and seer on all sides, about 30 minutes.
  4. While the roast is cooking, preheat a crock pot to high and add the marinade.
  5. Add the roast to the crock pot fat side up and cook for one hour on high. Turn down to low and let cook for 6-8 hours. When the meat is falling apart it’s done.
  6. Remove most of the liquid reserving about a cup.
  7. Pull the pork and toss with the remaining liquid. Season to taste with Jerk seasoning and/or cinnamon. Lower the crock pot to warm and let steep at least 30 minutes before serving.

Saturdays in the South: Nashville, Tennessee

Originally published by Current Magazine in 2007.

Titans StadiumHidden between the sprawling high-rises and the studios of Music Row is Vanderbilt University.  The lone private school in the Southeastern Conference, Vandy is best known for its law and medical schools.  Though nicknamed the Harvard of the South the Commodores would surely make quick work of the Ivy Leaguers were they to ever meet on the gridiron.

Because of its urban location within the spiraling growth of vibrant Nashville authentic tailgating is limited.  However the city is what makes Vanderbilt’s experience unique in contrast to the rural locales of the other member institutions.  In a way, it is the cultural capitol of the South with its history in music, racing, radio, publishing, sports and even politics.  In the days before television chances are you listed to the Grand Ole Opry on WSM each Saturday night.

The Ryman Auditorium, longtime home of the Opry is about a ten minute cab ride downtown.  There you will find Ernest Tubbs’ Record Shop and the infamous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.  Planet Hollywood, Hard Rock Café, and the Wild Horse Saloon are all within easy walking distance as well.  Historic 2nd Avenue is host to everything from honkytonks to souvenir shops to jazz clubs to Irish pubs.

Nearby Printer’s Alley is grittier than the Disneyesque 2nd Avenue/Lower Broad area.  It is an actual alley which was once nested amid the many publishing houses that occupied downtown Nashville back in its heyday as the South’s publishing empire.  Today it features more of a Bourbon Street feel with blues bars and a metropolitan vibe that provides natives with music and libations deep into the night pouring the local favorite Gerst beer.

Just off the Vanderbilt campus in either direction are two of the hippest neighborhoods in America.  To the south, the campus gives way to 21st Ave. and the ultrachic Hillsboro Village which is filled with niche coffee houses, artisan bakeries, foreign movie houses and modish restaurants.  Hillsboro flows into Music Row making it prime terrain for star gazing.

It is home to Sam’s Place Sports Bar & Grill; the place for post game food (fantastic pizzas) with a view of the country’s other football games via multiple televisions.  Almost hidden is Sunset Grill (Belcourt Ave.) which is posh and trendy, if not a little pricey except for the affordable late night menu on the weekends.  The best known eatery in the neighborhood is the Pancake Pantry which, as the name suggests features superlative pancakes but the star is the steak and eggs which come with the best hash browns on planet earth.

It is also in the Village that you will find the best Sunday brunch in town.  Jackson’s Bar and Bistro not only offers novelties like French onion hash browns, chicken salad torrado, Jackson’s BLT (with fried green tomatoes), and cookie dough egg rolls, but their patio is a must for those into people-watching.

To the north you cross West End Avenue to get to Elliston Place.  The best live music venues in the city speckle the street along with dining pleasures that range from the Middle East to the Deep South with stops in Austin, St. Croix, and Chi-town.  Novel shops vending fine cigars, antique books and tie-dyed guitars act as buffers between rockers, groupies, frats, yuppies and tourists.

Just a block or so down Elliston Place from the stadium is Rotier’s.  It looks like one of those places your parents would have warned you to avoid as a child.  Sure it’s a dive, but it is also the home of Nashville’s best burger (served on French bread).  Other notable Elliston Place haunts include Obie’s Pizza and the Wingbasket.

For singles looking to sample some of the local flavor the Gold Rush (also on Elliston Place) is a strange brew to say the least.  Before the party crowd shows they dish out some of the best Tex-Mex in town.  After the dinner rush fades, the co-eds show up but the weirdness does not end.  Up stairs is a typical frat bar with pool tables, dart boards, and Top 40 music.  Downstairs is where the rockers hang out.  The frat bar closes before the rocker bar which makes for an interesting scenario as many a Kip has lost his Muffy to a Tommy Lee wannabe.

The tailgating that does go on for Commodore games is unique as Centennial Park, located just across West End Ave. from Dudley Field fills with fans of both teams.  The park makes for what is probably the most cultured tailgate experience in the South.  Standing in its center is a full-scale replica of the Athenian Parthenon.  The modern Parthenon, which was originally erected for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, houses the city’s art museum whose permanent collection contains a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists.

During September you can double your pleasure with a visit to the Tennessee State Fair which features rides, exhibits, rodeos, tractor pulls and other attractions or perhaps take in one of Nashville’s two major league sports franchises – the Tennessee Titans (NFL) or the Nashville Predators (NHL).  Or maybe checkout the Nashville Sounds, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Nashville has a culinary legacy.  It is a unique take on traditional fried chicken called hot chicken.  There are many places in town that do their own version of hot chicken, practically one in every neighborhood.  The sovereign of Nashville hot chicken, however is the renowned Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (East Nashville near the Titans’ Stadium).

Nashville is a metropolis with ten colleges or universities and over 1.5 million people.  Visiting fans have long enjoyed away games to Music City because of the many things to do and see, plus the hospitality is impressive.  So much so that recently, Travel & Leisure magazine named the citizenry the friendliest people in the nation.

Nashville Hot Chicken
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 8 hours
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 8 hours 35 mins
Serves: 4
  • 8 chicken quarters
  • 1 recipe breading (follows)
  • 1 recipe rub (follows)
  • 1 recipe marinade (follows)
  • 16 slices white bread
  • 8 pickle dill spears
  • Vegetable shortening for frying.

  • 1/2 cup hot paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chili de arbol
  • 1 teaspoons habanera powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Mix and seal in an airtight container.

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup rub

  • 2 quarts buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup rub
  • 1 bottle Tabasco sauce
  • Mix and refrigerate.
  1. In several large zip top bags place the chicken and marinade.
  2. Seal and refrigerate at least 8 hours, turning every two hours.
  3. Heat an iron skillet to medium heat and add shortening to 1/2″.
  4. Remove chicken from bags and let excess marinade drain.
  5. Coat in breading and fry for 20 – 35 minutes, or until done.
  6. When chicken is done remove to draining rack and coat, liberally, with rub.
  7. Serve over two slices of white bread with a pickle.

Weber Grills Helps You Elevate Your Tailgate

When you’re grilling up some pre-game fun, bland food and flavors are simply out of the question. So say, “Sayonara, boring,” because this tailgating guide will help you up the ante from regular, run-of-the-mill meals to bold, knock-their-socks-off gourmet grilling. Inside, you’ll learn the rules for making your parking lot party a winner, plus discover five mouth-watering recipes that are sure to score you a tailgating touchdown.

[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!

Follow Stuart via “the Online”

Sip & Chew with Mike and Stu

Add to Google


Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

Stu’s Latest Kindle Single is Just $2.99

Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


Subscribe to this blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

ISO 9000 Culinary Arts Certification