Monday, April 22, 2013

CUBAN SANDWICH (Grilled roast pork, ham & cheese)

This hockey season is coming to an end, boy that went quick.  Billy’s been in New York this past week, on the last road trip of the year for the Panthers.  Billy called me on Wednesday night, telling me he did something, and that he was not proud of it. 

Well we are both pretty silly (which is why we are perfect for each other)and do plenty of embarrassing things; so I thought he had just embarrassed himself.  That wasn’t it though. 

No he and his broadcast partner, Goldie and the production crew went to the Carnegie Deli where a “Man vs. Food Challenge” took place.  Billy and Goldie each, set about to eat a sandwich that held five pounds of meat!  Not only did they attempt the challenge, but it was filmed to be aired during the intermission of the Panther’s game.  Well Goldie (who always says that he can out eat Billy) got half of the sandwich down.  Billy finished the whole dang sandwich in about 30 minutes!  It wasn’t a pretty picture, but he got a free sandwich out of the deal!  He wasn’t feeling so good after the fact however. 

I’m so proud!

So about this Cuban sandwich, it’s nowhere near five pounds, but it is pretty big.  It’s really not about the size however, but about the ingredients.  A traditional Cuban sandwich is Cuban bread filled with sweet ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and mustard; that’s pressed and grilled like a Panini.

I didn’t mess with tradition too much but I did make a couple of subtle changes.  I use two cheeses; Swiss has a slightly nutty flavor, and Havarti which is creamy and tangy.  I also made a Wasabi Mayonnaise to replace the mustard, just to cut the richness of the cheese and roast pork and to give it a little more oomph! 

I made this Cuban sandwich for Billy to take to work last week, and it received rave reviews from the press box!

Here’s what you do.

I had some leftover roast pork that I sliced thin, and heated up in the leftover gravy.  You may also use pork tenderloin, or sliced roast pork from the deli counter.

This is how my super market sells wasabi powder.  Make it into a paste by mixing a little in a small bowl with an equal amount of water.  The paste will be loose so that if will combine easily with the mayo.

The pungency of the wasabi differs so start by mixing about half of the wasabi paste in to the mayonnaise.  Give it a taste and add more if you like.

Slice a large loaf of Cuban of French bread in half and spread all of the Wasabi Mayonnaise on both sides of the sandwich.  It is not a lot of mayo, the mayo is just meant to be the vehicle for the wasabi.  I measured my bread just to see; it was 5 inches wide by 22 inches long, it made for one serious sandwich!

Lay the cheese on both sides of the sandwich so that the cheese is on the outside.  This way it will get all melty and hold the sandwich together.  I couldn't decide if I wanted my cheese in triangles or squares so I did both.  If you like you may use just one type of cheese.

Lay the meat and the pickles over the cheese.

And put a lid on it!  The sandwich that is.

Cut the sandwich into 3 or four.  Brush a little oil on the outside of the bread so that it gets toasty.
 If you have a Panini press go ahead and grill your sandwich in that.

I don't have a Panini press, but I do have this handy dandy cast iron bacon press.  You may also press the sandwich by placing another skillet or an aluminum foil wrapped brick on the top of it.  Use medium heat so that everything gets nice and toasty and melty without burning the bread.

When the first side is done, give it a flip.  Replace the weight on the top.  Cook that until the other side is toasted and the cheese has melted.  Put the sandwich into a warm oven while continuing to grill the remaining sandwiches.

Toasty, melty, sweet, savory, sour, spicy...and oh so satisfying!

CUBAN SANDWICH (Grilled roast pork, ham & cheese)

Serves 3 to 4

1              loaf                     Cuban or French bread, (mine was about 5 inches wide and 22 inches long) 
                                         Wasabi mayonnaise, recipe follows
6              deli slices             Havarti cheese
6              deli slices             Swiss cheese
6              deli slices             Ham, about 6 ounces
8              oz.                      Roast pork, thinly sliced
6              slices                   Dill pickles, I used the sandwich stackers
1              Tbsp.                    Olive oil

   1.       Slice the bread in half lengthwise.
   2.       Spread a thin layer of the Wasabi mayonnaise on both sides of the sandwich.

   3.       Lay the ingredients on the sandwich so that there’s a layer of cheese on the top, a layer of cheese on the bottom, and the meat and pickles are in the middle.  If the cheese is in the middle of the sandwich, it won’t melt well; also the melted cheese is what holds everything together.
   4.       Brush a light coat of olive oil on the outside of the bread, top and bottom (this helps to toast the bread.
   5.       Cut the sandwich into 3 or 4 pieces.
   6.       If you have a Panini press, go ahead and grill the sandwich in that.
   7.       If you don’t have a Panini press; heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat.
   8.       Lay one of the sandwiches on the hot pan.  Weigh the sandwich down by placing on top of it; a cast iron bacon press, or another skillet, or a brick that has been wrapped with aluminum foil.
   9.       When the underside is toasted, remove the weight, and turn the sandwich over, replace the weight.  Cook until that side is toasted and the cheese has melted.
 10.       Place the grilled sandwich into a warm oven while you grill the remaining sandwiches.

Notes:    *For the roast pork, you may use leftover roast pork, pork tenderloin, or roast pork from the deli counter.
                **Mustard may be substituted for the Wasabi Mayonnaise.


1              Tbsp.                     Wasabi powder
1              Tbsp.                     Water
1/3           cup                       Mayonnaise

   1.       In a small bowl, stir together the wasabi powder and water to make a paste.
   2.       Add the mayonnaise to another small bowl.  Stir a little of the wasabi paste into the mayonnaise at a time until it tastes the way you like it.
   3.       Allow the flavors of the Wasabi Mayonnaise to meld for at least 15 minutes.

You may also like:
Steak Sanwich with Blue Cheese
Greek Minute Steak (or porkcutlet) Sandwich

Cambozola and Roasted Pepper Panini


  1. I'm all about the melty cheese! Actually its really the only way I like to eat cheese. (My hubby thinks I'm absolutely nuts).

  2. Wow. That's looks amazing, I'm craving that right now