A Cuban sandwich is simply a variation of ham and cheese originally created in Cuban cafes as an easy lunchtime meal. Later on, Cuban immigrants brought it to South Florida where it is still very popular. Traditionally the sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. Simple enough, unless, like me, you live in an area where it is almost impossible to find good Cuban bread and when your previous attempts at duplicating the sandwich just didn’t turn out quite right. Despite previous failures I thought I would again attempt what the Cubans call a mixto sandwich, but make some changes to kick it up a few notches.
I attempted this right after Thanksgiving so I decided to incorporate turkey instead of roast pork to make my Remixed Mixto Sandwich. Ingredients and prep are simple because after hosting our first Thanksgiving, Black Friday and a trip to visit family a few hours away, I was beat on Sunday when game time rolled around. You will need: sweet honey cured ham, turkey, Gruyere, cranberry dressing, bread and butter pickles, mustard and ciabatta.
I feel guilty in that there is no real recipe involved and I doubt that many ES readers are unable to make a sandwich at this point, but let me give a few suggestions:
1. I tossed the ham and turkey in a saute pan with a little oil first so that they they could get a little bit of color and it really brought out the sweetness of the ham.
2. You can also use Swiss cheese but I often just turn to Gruyere because of how creamy and luscious it gets when melted.
3. Canned Cranberry sauce makes James Beard turn over in his grave.
4. I covered half the sandwich with bread and butter pickles and the other half with dill. B&B won for me.
Sandwich assembly is pretty simple. I spread some vibrant spicy mustard on both sides of the ciabatta, then beginning at the bottom I added cranberry, turkey, pickles, ham and cheese before popping the top on, dripping on some olive oil and grilling the sandwich between two cast iron skillets. If you have a sandwich press or a waffle iron feel free to use them as well.
So there you go — not quite a Cuban sandwich but a pretty good substitution on a cold winter day of cheering on your favorite team.
Fancy up your football. More Gridiron Grub on Endless Simmer:
Roasted Tomato and Chevre Jalapeno Poppers
French Onion Soup Sandwich
Fish Tacos and Chips