Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Cuban Sandwich

Here is the RIGHT way to do this.

Start by slicing pickles. NOT the sweet kind, and (ideally) not the ones that sit at room temperature. You need the crunch. I'spose you could get away with the pre-sliced ones, but I like my surface:mass ratio just so, and the Pickle Industrial Complex will not comply.
Take Cuban bread, or Cuban rolls or, if you live in the provinces, something in the egg bread family (which turns this from a Cubano to a Medianoche, but whatever.) split them and mustardize them. The classic choice is plain ol' yellow mustardbut I like the "deli" style mustard better. You do whatever you want.
Then you lay down your pickle coverage. I love pickles, so I practically TILE the bloody thing.
Over the pickles you'll need to place a layer of ham. Since I am an insufferable foodie, I use prosciutto (but not the hyper-fancy stuff). Either way, you want to make sure it's sliced so thin, as to be translucent. This allows you to plop it down in a wavy sort of way, which is key to get the right sort of chew and mouthfeel.
Next,the swiss cheese. Yes, it must be swiss cheese. Or, if you're insufferable as I am, Swiss cheese (Emmentaler is a teeny bit preferable to Gruyere, but either is wonderful.)
To get the right melting action, you will need to grate it. Yes, slices will work okay, but by the time the cheese is melted, the bread will be too dry and brittle.
Shredding it in the food processor is fine, but yields bad photos. So I hand grated. Just for YOU, Internet. Scoop it up and get ready to apply to the sandwich.
Like so.
If you like to give the cheese a head start on the melting -- or you are a raving pyro -- you can use a kitchen torch.
Now, take your leftover roast pork (ideally a very citrus/garlic intensive roast pork, although that can be doctored up) which you have warmed up to about 125F (this is important) if you have roasted it properly, it should shred into luxuriant, pillowy nuggets of porcine goodness.Assemble atop the cheese (cold side cold, warm side warm). You want about a 3:2 pork:ham ratio. So that your whole assemblage looks like this.
Fold the bread around the filling. Place in a panini/sanwich press or, if you have a whole battalion to feed, use a griddle set to medium-high, buttered lightly -- DO NOT USE MARGARINE -- and toast the cheese side first until it JUST melts, and then flip over to warm the other side.


  • At 3:12 PM, February 18, 2010 , Blogger palinurus said...

    Looks good. Saw a man vs food from Miami two weeks ago where he visted a shop there that had a variation on this.....It had no mustard, but a spicy sauce and a sharp provolone cheese, I think.

    Thanks and good luck.


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