For the festival this past weekend (yes, I still owe you guys my write up, I’ve been busy! more on that later) I made a batch of cuban sandwiches for our cooler. And lucky you, I documented the process, including my most interesting way of pressing them without a sandwich press. So here they are.
Cubans are a great sandwich, especially for picnicking. They have no mayo, and are good either hot or cool. They don’t require alot of ingredients, and since they are pressed, they stay together well for transport.
-Cuban Bread (available at my local Publix, but if you can’t find cuban, you can do on italian, french, or similar)
-Roast Pork Loin
-Baby Dills (or thin sliced dill pickles)
Prior: Either purchase roast pork sliced from the deli, or do what I did and roast a pork loin. I highly recommend the latter. For mine, I purchased a pork loin, marinated it in mojo marinade (available in the mexican/ethnic aisle), then roasted it in the oven, uncovered according to package directions. (350 or so, until the internal temp is around 150. A Digital Probe Thermometer
is awesome for this stuff). I threw this in the oven the night before. I sliced it the night before too, but in hindsight, the slices I did the next morning after it chilled overnight were much nicer looking, so I recommend chilling, then slicing.
(Optional, slice into 4 pieces. I did this because I wanted to ensure that the bread stayed fresh since I’d bought it a few days earlier, so I cut it to store in a ziplock.)
Slice Bread in Half, length wise (ie cut open for sandwiches).
Spread mustard on both sides. I like spicy brown.
– Roast Pork
I do several slices thick of each meat and a single cheese, but if you like yours thicker, add more.
My oddity for this sandwich is I love crispy pickles. So I like to take my favorite pickle, petite dills, and slice them thin. You may of course substitute an inferior floppy pickle if you wish! The key is very thinly sliced, though.
So slice your baby dills, and lay them out on top of the cheese.
And top your sandwich with the top piece of bread.
Now this would be a lovely sandwich as is, but it’s not a cuban until it’s pressed. Now traditionally a cuban is pressed with a sandwich press called a plancha, similar to a panini press. You could also use a George Foreman grill.
(note, the picture above for this is sideways, no idea why. Do click through to see it right side up!)
BUT, if you don’t have any of these things, you’ll need a method to press them, and I’d like to share mine! Basically, procure a griddle (mine is a double one that covers two burners on the stove. An electric griddle or any flat stove friendly surface works fine.) Turn on burners to med heat
Melt a little butter on top and spread around.
Next add your sandwiches.
Now, find a large pan(I used a roasting pan) similar in size to your griddles, and place on top of your sandwiches. Now you need some weight. Conveniently enough, I had some small 5 and 8 lb weights for working out purposes, which were perfect for the job. Place the weights spaced evenly in the upper pan, and press down evenly. This amount of weight was about perfect.
After a few minutes, remove the pan, ensure the bottoms of the sandwiches are crispy, add additional butter if necessary, and flip sandwiches. Return top pan and press for a few more minutes.
Remove from pan, and either serve immediately (tasty warm!) or let cool, slice diagonally, and wrap in wax paper for your picnic. I like to wrap each sandwich individually, then store them all in a gallon ziplock.
These are great served with black beans and rice, and/or a tasty cucumber/onion salad. Let me know if you need recipes for those too!
Easy Peasy… and way yummy!
– All Photo-Recipes