Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cubano Sandwich

When we lived on the north side of the city, our favorite go to place when I was feeling too lazy to cook was this wonderful Cuban market which had an attached cafe. They made one of the best Cubano sandwiches there and it always hit the spot. It's been quite a while since I've been back in our old 'hood and I had a hankering for that Cubano sandwich today. With that sandwich on my brain, I did the next best thing... make the sandwich at home!

The Cubano sandwich is pretty much a grilled ham and cheese variation that includes slices of roasted pork and pickle slices. You really can't go wrong with the combination of ham, swiss, pork, pickle and mustard. Now imagine those delicious fillings in between crispy, hot bread that's been pressed to a golden brown. And in my opinion, this sandwich goes best with some garlic yucca chips, which I picked up from a latin market. Mmmm... say hello to my delicious friend...
Cubano Sandwich
recipe adapted from Food Network

1 loaf Cuban bread or Mexican 'bolillo' roll
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 sandwich length pickle slices
5 slices Polish or Virginia deli ham
2 slices roast pork
2 slices imported Swiss cheese
1-ounce butter

Slice Cuban loaf or Mexican bolillo roll in half horizontally. Spread the mustard on both the top and bottom cut sides of the loaf/roll evenly.

To begin building the sandwich, on the bottom half of the loaf/roll, layer the ham. Top with the roast pork, followed by the pickle slices and finally the swiss cheese. Place the top half of the loaf/roll to complete the sandwich.

Heat a cast iron skillet. Spread butter on top of the sandwich (top half of the loaf/roll) and lay the sandwich buttered side down into the hot skillet. Press down on the sandwich with a large spatula to get a nice crisp sear of the bread. Leave the sandwich on the skillet until the buttered side turns a golden brown and is crisp.

Repeat by buttering the other side of the sandwich (should be the bottom loaf/roll) and flip the sandwich onto the newly buttered side down into the hot skillet. Leave the sandwich on the skillet until the buttered side turns a golden brown and is crisp.

After the sandwich is crispy on both sides and the cheese has melted, remove the sandwich carefully and slice it diagonally.