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Have a manly Valentine’s Day with the Cubano!

February 10, 2011

Hey, if bright pink cookies aren’t what it takes to wow your man for Valentine’s Day, I have something for you. Some men just don’t like pink frosting on sandwich cookies – go figure! But what a lot of men do like is meat and sandwiches and sandwiches filled with meat.

I’m still buying meat from the CSA and the other day I made some big beautiful pork chops for dinner. I only ate about half of mine and it was a Friday night so nobody took it to work the next day for lunch. I couldn’t bare to waste it so I started thinking sandwiches and when I think pork in a sandwich, I think Cubans. Okay, sometimes I think of pulled pork. But this time I thought of the mighty Cuban sandwich. It was only half a pork chop, it could only go so far by itself, but mixing it up with ham and Swiss cheese? Now we are talking.

I consulted one of my current favorite cookbooks, It’s All American Food by David Rosengarten. Sure enough, I found a Cubano recipe in the section on Florida. (The sandwich MAY have actually been first created in Tampa. Who knew?) I found just the right type of roll in my grocery store’s bakery and set to work. I used my cool new food processor to slice up the pork chop and layered up the sandwich.


I don’t have a panini maker, so I make do like this. I put the sandwiches on a griddle pan and heated up my cast iron skillet on another burner. I placed a sheet of foil over the sandwiches and then put the hot skillet on top and pressed down with an oven mitt.


And there you have it – a nice squished flat toasted sandwich! But wait! Look inside!


Now that is a sandwich! My husband devoured this and then asked the next day if we could have the same thing again. So, there you have it. Forget the chocolates, the brownies, the fancy pasta dinners. Give your manly Valentine the dinner he really wants – lots of meat sandwiched in between bread.

The Cubano
(slightly adapted from David Rosengarten’s It’s All American Food)

Makes 1 sandwich

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 large grinder roll – lightly crisp on the outside (not tough & chewy) and quite soft on the inside
4 slices Swiss Cheese
4 slices boiled ham
2 long slices of dill pickle (I used Claussen’s)
4 ounces thinly sliced roast pork
1-1/2 tablespoons butter

Split the roll lengthwise. Mix the mayo & mustard together and spead on each side of the roll. Layer 2 slices of cheese, the ham, pickles, pork and the remaining two slices of cheese.

Heat two large skillets over medium heat. Butter the outside of the roll on both sides. Place the sandwich in one of the pans. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the sandwich and then place the other skillet on top and press down. Press until toasted, at least two minutes and then flip the sandwiches and press again until fully toasted on both sides. Serve immediately. Make a man happy.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2011 7:58 am

    Seems as if necessity is once again the mother of invention–and seems as if necessity may have even won out. Also, thinking about a hot chile on it. But then again, that’s just the Texan in me.

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      February 12, 2011 1:55 pm

      I’m a bit of a hot chile wimp so that wouldn’t be my choice, but I support the making of this sandwich any way possible!

  2. February 13, 2011 6:06 pm

    Haha it’s true, men would much rather have meat than chocolate. Silly men. 😉

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