This Cuban Ham and Cheese Sandwich recipe is traditionally made using a plancha. It is very similar to a panini grill only the plates have no grooves. If you do not own either of these appliances, do not worry! A couple of skillets (fry pans) will get the same scrumptious results. I have given both instructions for grilling and the skillet method in the recipe.
For an authentic Cuban Sandwich recipe, the pork would ideally need to be slow cooked and smoked. Since most of us do not have an outdoor smoker, you can still get great results in your own oven with my smoky pulled pork shoulder recipe right here at http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art24736.asp
The recipe is virtually hands-off cooking and can be made a day or two ahead of time. Alternatively, you can purchase thinly sliced cooked pork from your local deli.
My family enjoy grilled sandwiches at least twice a week and this recipe is certainly at the top of the list on flavor. The smoky pulled pork keeps the sandwich deliciously moist while it is grilling and all of the flavors of the other ingredients work exceedingly well together.
The quantities in this recipe are a guideline only. Please feel free to add additional meats and cheese to your own sandwich as you wish. I love to serve this sandwich with a simple, fresh garden salad.
2-12 inch Cuban, Italian or French breads (baguette style)
2 pats of melted butter or a little olive oil
1/3 lb. Deli ham (boiled, black forest, Virginia), thinly sliced
4 slices of Serrano ham, thinly sliced (optional)
1/3 lb. pulled pork (recipe to follow)
Kosher dill pickles, thinly sliced
1/3 lb. Swiss cheese
Mustard (whole grain, American, Dijon), whichever is your favorite
METHOD - PANINI GRILL
Preheat the grill.
1. Slice the bread in half lengthways. Brush the outside of the bread with olive oil or melted butter.
Layer the ingredients as follows, starting with the bottom of the bread.
2. Mustard, cheese, pickles, hams, pork, hams, pickles, cheese, mustard, and lastly, the top of the bread.
3. Place the sandwich on the grill and press down slightly as it begins to cook. Continue cooking and pressing down gently until the sandwich becomes a third of its' original size and golden brown.
(makes 2 sandwiches)
1. First, build your sandwich and brush the bread with olive oil or butter as it is outlined above in the Panini grill instructions.
2. Heat a dry skillet on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Place the sandwich in the skillet and place another clean skillet (or one wrapped in foil) on top of the sandwich. Place a weight the inside the skillet, like a big can of beans or tomato sauce, pressing down at intervals until the sandwich becomes a third of its' original size and golden brown.