Living in South Florida, The Cuban Sandwich is just a part of every day life. You can pick up a Cuban pretty much anywhere you go. However, not all Cubans are created equal. There are important elements to forming the Quintessential Cuban Sammy. I am not Cuban, but have learned a lot from my Cuban co-workers over the years and thought I would give it the old College try on the grill. A traditional Cuban is made on a Sandwich or Panini Press and I simulated this experience with a brick on the grill. This is a great sandwich to make to feed a crowd at a tailgate because a true Cuban Sandwich, stuffed with roasted pork and ham and smothered in melted swiss cheese, is quite filling.
Research says that The Cuban Sandwich originated in Tampa from the Cuban workers in the Cigar factories in Ybor City…..but let’s just agree that wherever they hail from (Tampa, Key West or Miami…) they are a culinary gift from the Cubans. If you ever get a chance to get a Media Noche Sandwich (mid night), definitely give that a try. A Media Noche is a Cuban sandwich on the MediaNoche bread which is a fluffy egg bread- similar to Challah. It is the best.
I finished this sandwich off with 2 mandatory ingredients for any Cuban- mustard and pickles. I chose to use El Diablo Mango mustard to spice things up a bit- I thought the Mango flavor would compliment my tropically inspired sandwich. It adds just a hint of sweetness and a ton of flavor, with a bit of kick. I’m offering a giveaway of the whole suite of El Diablo Mustards – just leave a comment on my blog on your favorite way to use mustard and you’ll automatically be entered to win an El Diablo Mustard Pack. If you like a little heat, this mustard is for you. My favorite is the mango, but the Jalapeno and smokey chipotle are close contenders. This contest will run until 10/29/2014 where I will announce the winner here on my blog.
• 1 loaf of Cuban Bread – go to your Latin market if you can’t find at your grocery store. The bread is important to a true Cuban.
• 2-3 cups roasted pork (to be really authentic, marinate the pork in Mojo first: FYI, I do not currently have an oven and didn’t have time to smoke a pork butt so I roasted a pork butt in the crock pot for 6 hours in mojo marinade and sliced oranges and lemons. It turned out great for this purpose).
• Ham (I used applegate farms nitrate free ham- any boiled or glazed ham should work okay).
• Dill pickles, thinkly sliced
• 2 package sliced swiss cheese- enough slices to generously fill an entire loaf
• Mustard- I used El Diablo Mango Mustard to add a little kick
2 bricks covered in aluminum foil OR a large cast iron skillet
Preheat your grill to medium high heat (375-400), creating a direct and indirect zone. You will want to grill the sandwich on indirect heat so the sandwich is not directly over the flame, but still gets plenty hot to melt the cheese and toast the bread and form char marks. Grill under the foil covered brick (or use an inverted cast iron skillet) with the lid closed for approximately 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted nicely and the bread is toasted and golden.
Traditional Cubans are sliced diagonally into triangles. For serving a crowd or a tailgating party, slice into mini servings so people can grab and go. I finished these off with these cute Miami Dolphins toothpicks that I found on Etsy, which are perfect for a tailgating party.
*note, this is sponsored post by El Diablo mustard, but the thoughts and recipe are my own. Sponsored posts help keep this blog going!