A Cuban sandwich is basically a ham and cheese panini, with the additions of mustard and pickles. As simple as it sounds (it IS simple) it’s a nice twist on a monotonous classic.
A traditional Cuban uses both sliced ham and roasted pork. This is a good sandwich to use up leftover meat – if you have some. I personally haven’t roasted any pork recently….so I’m just using deli ham and turkey today. But I’ve previously used smoked Boston butt, roasted pork loin, and grilled tenderloin – all with great results!
My Publix bakery makes great Cuban rolls. They make the perfect panini – thin crust, soft inside, compresses easily when heated and pressed. I use them for all different pressed sandwiches. If you can’t find this type of loaf at your store, try French bread. Just make sure it’s fresh – too crusty and it won’t compress well.
If you don’t have a panini press, just use a non-stick skillet and a heavy pan (cast iron is ideal). Heat the cast iron pan in the oven (350 to 400F) while you assemble your sandwich. Then use it to press your sandwich. Or you could just use a spatula to press your sandwich….but you will have to flip it and cooking will take twice as long.
The sandwiches can be assembled up to a few hours before you are ready to eat them. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate until ready to cook!
- Cuban rolls
- Sliced ham
- Sliced turkey
- Swiss cheese
Slice the rolls in half. Spread the top halves with yellow mustard. Spread the bottom halves with mayonnaise. Cover bottom halves with single layer of cheese. Layer on meats (2-4 slices of each), pickle slices, and top with another layer of cheese. Spread a thin layer of butter on the bottom and top of each sandwich. Heat on panini press until cheese is melted and bread is golden and crisp (about 10 minutes).