Cubano Sandwiches (with Vegetarian Option)

These are one of my favorite sandwiches because it has a great flavor, despite how some may think the combination of ingredients may be odd. Everything works together in sync and when toasted or grilled, the added crispness of the sandwich brings out the smooth, melted cheese that sits over the filling of pork and ham. To read about the great history of Cubano sandwiches, check out this link!

Everyone has their own versions of what they considered an authentic version of the classic Cubano sandwich. Personally I would rather get a toasted Cubano at my favorite Cuban grocery store (La Unica, for those who are in the Chicago area)... but the next best thing is to try making it at home. Below is how I make them at home based on the traditional recipe using ham, roasted pork, and cheese.

Cubano Sandwiches
traditional and vegetarian
1 small loaf bolillo bread (found at Mexican bakeries)
3-5 slices of deli ham
1 piece of thinly sliced pork steak (found at ethnic butchers, or ask your butcher to cut it for you)
1-2 slices of swiss or provolone cheese
dill pickles (sliced)
1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise

Season your pork steak with salt and pepper and cook on the grill or in a grill pan.

Prepare your sandwich by slicing your bolillo bread in half lengthwise.

Spread the mustard on one half of the bread and spread the mayonnaise on the other half of the bread.

Place the grilled roast pork on one half of the sandwich.

Top the grilled pork with slices of ham.

Top the ham with your cheese and add the pickles to the other half of bread.

Combine the two bread halves and place on a hot grill pan or panini press. Grill the sandwich until toasty and the cheese begins to melt. Serve hot!

* To make this a vegetarian friendly sandwich, substitute the pork and ham with sliced and grilled portobello mushrooms and proceed with the recipe above.

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