Chef Jill’s Tampa Bay Style Cuban with Crispy Gulf Shrimp Recipe

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 5:06 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Tampa Bay Style Cuban with Crispy Gulf Shrimp

Chef Jill Aker-Ray

Serves 8


Pork Tenderloin:

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves-minced
  • 1 TSP dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper


  • 8 individual Cuban rolls or French rolls
  • 1 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound deli ham, sliced
  • 1 cup dill pickles, sliced
  • 1/4 cup favorite mustard
  • 4 TBSP butter, softened or melted

Air Fried Crispy Shrimp

  • 1 pound gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off (31-40, preferably)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Cooking spray



Mix oil, juices, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper together and pour over pork tenderloin.

Let pork come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place marinated pork tenderloin on the sheet pan and place into oven for 30-40 minutes, until pork registers 145 degrees. Cool slightly, slice thinly and set aside.

Crispy Air Fried Shrimp

Turn air fryer to 375 degrees.

Place flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper into a ziplock bag and blend evenly. Drain and dry shrimp with a paper towel. Place shrimp into bag and close tightly. Shake thoroughly until all shrimp are evenly coated with flour mixture. Spray air fryer basket lightly and add shrimp, without crowding them, then spray top of shrimp lightly with cooking spray. “Fry” for 4-5 minutes until crispy and slightly curled but not overcooked. Take out and assemble on sandwiches (see below)


Slice each roll horizontally and set up to assemble on a large cutting board. (Set out your ham, cheese, pickles, mustard, pork, and shrimp) and softened butter.

Build sandwiches starting with cheese, then ham, pork, pickles, shrimp, then cheese again (to act like glue. Add mustard to inside of top bun. Close tightly. Add softened butter to outside before placing into pan or on griddle (or melt butter directly in pan and swirl to coat)

Place a cast iron skillet onto medium-high heat. Place buttered sandwiches into pan and turn heat to medium. Use second cast-iron skillet or a bacon press (or griddle) to press sandwiches. This will allow the outside to get golden brown and melt the cheese!

Wrap in foil and serve or place in warmer until half time as you cheer on the BUCS!

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