I love sandwiches (sammiches, in my world), as you may have noticed, and it’s a goal of mine to eventually try all the best the world has to offer.
One sammich that’s been on my list is the Cuban, which is a mixture of pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles. It sounds like a rather strange combination, and I’m iffy on the pickles. But hey, the more pork, the merrier.
I’ve tried one locally, but I’m not sure if a Fargo-made Cuban is really authentic. When the hubby and I traveled to Florida last year with his sisters and my brother-in-law, I thought I’d have my chance. But for some reason, seafood is rather popular in Florida, and I had a heck of a time finding a place that served a good Cuban.
Lo and behold, one day we were out shopping and we stopped at this little dive of a restaurant which was – ding ding ding – famous for its Cubans. Of course, when I got up to the counter to place my order, they were “out” of Cubans. (This sort of thing happens to us often. Subway runs out of bread. Pizza Hut runs out of just medium pizzas. I don’t really get it.)
So I decided that I was going to try making my own this week, as authentic as possible while still being relatively simple. Luckily I had some leftover spicy shredded pork in the freezer, which was a good starting point. I simmered that with a mojo-like sauce to give it more of a Cuban flavor. The rest of my ingredients could just be picked up at the deli, making this perfect for a weeknight meal.
And the sammiches. Were. Yummy. Terrifically so. And messy. I actually tied a dish towel around my neck so I could use the entire thing as a huge napkin. I might do this for every meal.
1 c. cooked pork, chopped or shredded
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1/8 c. chicken broth
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
Cuban or French bread
Mustard (any kind you like will work)
2 large or 4 small slices Swiss cheese
4-6 slices deli ham (I prefer Virginia Baked or Black Forest)
1. In a saucepan, heat pork over medium heat. Add garlic salt, lime juice, orange juice, broth, and crushed red pepper. Heat through.
2. Cut French bread in half and butter the outsides. Flip bread over and apply a thin layer of mustard to both of the insides.
3. On bottom half of bread, layer half the cheese, and top with pork.
4. Add ham, and then pickles.
5. Top with remaining cheese and top of bread.
6. Using a panini press or a large frying pan with something to weigh down the sandwich, cook until outsides are crisp and cheese is melted.
7. Serve with plantain chips. Or Barrel O’ Fun Barbecue chips.