Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Almost Cuban Sandwiches

I love Cubans sandwiches, and I usually go all the way, making the bread specifically for the sandwiches and making sure I have all the right ingredients on hand.

This time, the sandwiches weren't that well planned. I had a chunk of ham and a chunk of pork roast in the freezer - leftovers from other meals - and I decided to use that for sandwiches. Perfect, so far.

But I decided not to make the bread. I had a nice loaf of sourdough, and I used that instead. I didn't have Swiss cheese, but I did have another white melty cheese on hand, and I figured that would work almost as well.

These weren't real Cuban sandwiches by any stretch of the imagination, but they were still good. Better than your average throw-random-stuff-on-bread sandwich.

The first time I had a Cuban sandwich, it was at a Cuban restaurant in Chicago. We went there several times for dinner, many more times for sandwiches, and whenever I was in the neighborhood, it was likely I'd get some carryout. Not really often, considering it wasn't close to home, but as often as was practical.

I tried Cuban sandwiches from a few other places in Chicago, and when we had an airline layover in Miami, we hopped a cab and went for sandwiches. Some to eat there, and a few more to take home.

A Cuban sandwich is a fairly simple thing. I mean, after all, it's just a sandwich. But this one's a classic for a reason. It's more than the sum of its parts. It's a perfect balance of tastes and textures. If you've never had one you should give it a try.

The mustard and mayo are sometimes debated - some people use one or the other, but the ones I had used both, so that's what I do.

These are best with something approximating the Cuban bread. A crusty baguette or a loaf of French bread will work.

Check back tomorrow for a recipe for a recipe for a different bread recipe to use to make Cuban sandwiches.

Almost Cuban Sandwiches

This is how it was assembled, from bottom to top: 
Slice of sourdough
Smear of brown mustard
Sandwich dill slices
Thinly sliced ham
Thinly sliced roast pork
White melting cheese (I used scamorza, which is sort of like provolone)
Smear of mayo on the top slice of bread

All of this spent some quality time in my sandwich press until the bread was toasty, the meat was warm, and the cheese melted a bit.

Sliced, and served while still hot.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.


Melissa said...

More than a sum of its parts for sure. Love a good Cuban... I need to make my own bread too, since it is darn hard to find.

Casey said...

I LOVE homemade Cuban sandwiches (the only kind I've had, as I have never ordered them out). Lately I've been swapping Jarlsberg for the Swiss, and it's lovely. In fact, we are planning these for tonight, but I desperately need pickles. It's really not a Cuban without the pickles!


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