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Southern Cuban Inspired Party Menu

While summer is certainly winding down and making way to exit stage left in a matter of days, I’m still holding on strong to my love for long sunny days spent hanging out around the water or in the backyard. Which probably explains why I love today’s Cuban inspired recipes, all whipped up with a Southern twist – literally everything you need throw a casual backyard fiesta! We’re talking the perfect Cuba libre cocktail, a Cuban sandwich with a pimento cheese dip and the most incredible tres leche cake made with fresh Georgia peaches. Delicious! The dynamic trio of Andre of Gray Harper Event MakerSamantha Huba and Jade + Matthew Take Pictures drew inspiration from a recent trip to Miami to bring us this collection of recipes, all melding Cuban and Southern flavors and tradition into the perfect party menu. Love!

Southern Cuba Libre Cocktail | The Sweetest Occasion

Southern Cuban Sandwich | The Sweetest Occasion Southern Cuba Libre Cocktail | The Sweetest Occasion

Southern Cuba Libre Cocktail | The Sweetest Occasion

Ready to get your Cuban flavored party on? Click through for the recipes!

  • 2 oz Rum (Andrea used Flor de Cana which isn’t a traditional Cuban rum, but it’s her favorite!)
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 2 – 3 sprigs of mint
  • Sweet Tea (enough to fill glass or to taste)

Using a muddler, muddle the lime and mint in the bottom of a glass. Pour the rum and sweet tea into the glass and stir. Garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy!

Southern Cuban Sandwich | The Sweetest Occasion Southern Cuba Libre Cocktail | The Sweetest Occasion

For the sandwich

  • 1 loaf Cuban bread
  • 1-ounce regular mustard
  • 4 Bread and butter pickles
  • 5 slices boiled ham or Virginia ham
  • 2 slices roast pork
  • 2 oz pimento cheese dip/spread {see recipe below for Cuban Pimento cheese}
  • 1 oz butter

Cut Cuban bread to desired size {common size is 7 inches} and slice open the bread down the middle. On the topside of the bread spread 1-ounce of mustard, evenly across. Place 4 pickles on top of the mustard. Spread pimento cheese on the bottom side of the bread. Then layer desired amount of ham and pork on top of the cheese. Join both halves of the sandwich. You are now ready to grill your Cuban sandwich. Use a sandwich grill if you have one, a waffle iron if not. Or a small fry pan with another heavy pan on top to really smush the sandwich down. Spread butter on top of the bread evenly. Close the grill, smashing the sandwich. Leave sandwich in the grill until top of bread turns to a golden brown, and top is crisp. Approximate time is 4 to 6 minutes. After the sandwich is crispy and the cheese has melted, remove and slice it diagonally, then enjoy!

For the pimento cheese dip

  • 1/2 (3 oz) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup grated swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons diced pimentos
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add all of the remaining ingredients and beat until well blended.

Tres Leche Cake with Peaches | The Sweetest Occasion

Tres Leche Cake with Peaches | The Sweetest Occasion Tres Leche Cake with Peaches | The Sweetest Occasion


For the cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1-1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

For the tres leche

  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon rum

For the whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • Splash vanilla
  • 3 fresh peaches, 2 cut into cubs, and 1 into slices

Preheat the oven to 350 degress. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, add vanilla and egg whites. Stir in the dry ingredients, and then add the buttermilk, while mixing. I like to let my cake batter sit for a few minutes while I prepare my pans, { in this case, two 8″ cake pans, spray well}, letting it sit helps all the ingredients to come together. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the center is cooked through and the edges begin to brown.

Carefully pop the cakes out of the pans so they’ll cool faster. Once they’re completely cool put them back in the pans, and poke holes in each cake.

Combine all the milk ingredients as well as the rum and vanilla, pour the mixture over the cakes, let soak for about one hour in the fridge. Before taking the cakes out Beat one cup of whipping cream and one tablespoon of powdered sugar, i like to add in a splash of vanilla as well. Fold in cubed peaches. Take the cake out and cover with the whipped cream, I think this is a great cake to keep “naked” frosting only the top of each cake. Garnish with peach slices on the top of the second layer. Enjoy!

[Cocktail + sandwich recipes by Gray Harper Event Maker | Cake recipe by Samantha Huba | Styling by Gray Harper Event Maker | Photos by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures.]

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Southern Cuban Party Menu | a gray blog

Saturday 14th of September 2013

[...] a follow up to my last post…while we were in Miami we put together this yummy shoot for The Sweetest Occasion blog, so head over there and check it [...]

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