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Friday, July 29, 2011

Grilled Cuban Sandwich

I first came across this sandwich while in Tampa, Florida at a restaurant called Spanish Park.  The menu offered many Cuban foods, which are common in restaurants in Miami and South Florida, but the Cuban Sandwich was one I had to try.
Cuban sandwiches have layers of ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, dill pickle and mustard between a sliced length of crusty Cuban bread. The key to this yummy Sandwich lies in the grilling. Once assembled, the sandwich is grilled in a sandwich press (such as a panini press) until the ham, pork, and pickles are warm, and the bread is golden brown.  Cuban restaurants use a sandwich press, but you can substitute a large heated skillet, using a slightly smaller skillet to "press" down on top of the sandwiches. Enjoy!

1 loaf Cuban bread*
Prepared yellow mustard
1/2 pound Baked Ham, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Roast Pork, thinly sliced
8 thin Dill Pickle Slices
1/2 pound Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced

* Italian or French bread may be substituted.

Slice the bread horizontally to open and cut to the desired lengths, making 4 sandwiches. Spread a thin layer of yellow mustard on the inside top and bottom halves of bread. Arrange ham, pork, pickle slices, and Swiss cheese evenly over the bread. Fold sandwiches together.

Lightly butter the top of each sandwich, and place buttered side down on a hot griddle or skillet. Place a piece of foil over the tops of sandwiches and, using a second skillet, press the top skillet onto the sandwiches and weight the skillet down using a slightly heavy pot. Grill about 4- 6 minutes. Remove top skillet and foil and butter the tops of the bread. Turn over carefully and grill about 4 - 6 minutes more or until cheese has begun to melt.

The idea is to press the sandwich down to create a grilled cheese effect. This will help the ham, pork and cheese to steam and melt together.

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