Half-Assed Cuban Sandwich

3 12 2007

Besides a Manwich (or The Sloppy Jason), my favorite sandwich of all time would have to be a Cuban sandwich.

I first had my first one on our honeymoon in Las Vegas, at the restaurant (I don’t remember what it’s called, but its just an ordinary casino restaurant) at the Mirage Hotel.  Sadly, I’ve never had a “real” on made by a Cuban in Miami or elsewhere in Florida.  And I certainly have never actually had one in Cuba, as I’m pretty sure its just a Cuban-American food item.

It is basically a smashed sandwich, or a sandwich that has been grilled on between two flat irons, usually on a less than fancy panini (no grooves) press.

I have no panini press, or even a less than fancy panini press.  I didn’t have any ham or swiss cheese either.

What I did have was pork carnitas, provolone, cheddar,  sandwich sliced dill pickles, and Sierra Nevada Porter Mustard.

To substitute the press, I made the sandwich and pressed it down with my hands.  Sure, that’s a rather crude method, and it hardly creates a smashed sandwich, but it was more of a mental thing.

“I smashed the sandwich, therefore it is a smashed sandwich.”

I suppose I could have gotten all Alton Brown on it.  I could have wrapped it in foil, placed it between two cookie sheets, put a brick on top, and then put it in the oven.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any bricks handy.

I put the psuedo-smashed sandwich into a 350 degree oven, went outside and had a smoke, and then took it out of the oven.

Not exactly a Nicole, but it was still quite tasty.  In fact, I could have made a Nicole, as I still have all the ingredients sitting around.

But I figured I should use the carnitas up since they were starting to turn.

So if I get some kind of food poisoning (wouldn’t be the first time), we all know what it was from.

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11 responses

4 12 2007
Nicole

A cast iron skillet on top would have worked as well as or better than the cookie sheet/brick thing. Plus, unlike a brick, it’s handy for other things in the kitchen such as cooking things on the stove. And it’s much less expensive than a panini press. Hope you don’t get food poisoning. Where’d you get the carnitas?

4 12 2007
MRoDT

Don’t have a cast iron skillet either. What do you think this is, your kitchen?

We get carnitas from Costco, they come pre-cooked in a boxes of a few pounds each. Sounds great, I know. But they are quite good with an assortment of hot sauces, cheeses, rices, and other such friends of the carnita.

4 12 2007
Ruby

ohhh I love the Costco carnitas! I tried to convince my Mexican family to try them to no avail!
Sandwich looks yummy Jason :)

4 12 2007
MRoDT

I know, those Costco carnitas are just about restaurant quality. They have good chili….something….its those chili peppers stuffed with cheese…I can’t remember what they are called.

4 12 2007
Nicole

I know that you don’t have a cast iron skillet. I was suggesting that you get one!

4 12 2007
stevewithmoya

You can back over it with your car… Or drive forward over it. Whatever direction you feel most comfortable will work to the same effect I would assume.

4 12 2007
MRoDT

I like the car idea better then the cast iron skillet for sure.

4 12 2007
Joe Drinker

I have a feeling the car idea would result in pickles being shot all the way across your yard. Just press it between some big books man! You have books, right?

5 12 2007
MRoDT

Can’t put books in the oven…or a car for that matter. Either way I’m screwed.

5 12 2007
stevewithmoya

I’m fairly certain you can fit a book into the oven. I’m not anywhere near a kitchen to confirm my theory, but I guess it depends on which book you plan on using. Those billion word over-sized dictionaries you sometimes see in libraries might be too large for the task. Just disconnect your smoke alarm before trying, however. Just a heads up.

7 12 2007
Nicole

I stand by my cast iron skillet idea. Or you could just get one of those iron sandwich press things like Nana uses (also useful for bacon)! Next time you’re there, tell her to make a grilled salami and cheese sandwich with that iron press…soooooo good!

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