04/08 Tr J has just made The Perfect Cuban Sandwich that much easier!
Not all TrJ carry the same items, but in the Boston area TrJ now there is being sold a cryovac Roast Pork piece. Pick out one that is a single piece of pork, showing 2 cut ends. Look around within a foot or so in the same deli section and find a TrJ Applewood Smoked Ham and a piece of paper-wrapped Cave Aged Gruyere. Now , you’re almost there.
Get a loaf of softer bread w/o a thick crust (I love to use Panera’s Three Cheese Bread)
And a jar of Dijon mustard and Kosher Dill Pickles.
These are the essentials but if you want a superior sandwich, read further:
At Whole Foods, pick up a can of chipotles, pureed (or whole).
Now comes the only involved prep, taking about 5-10 minutes. It is optional but it will make your Cuban Sandwich superior to others.
This Chipotle Sourcream is great with quesadillas, burritos,tamales, other sandwiches, so make extra to keep around; it lasts a week or so:
Mix together thoroughly and Adjust to taste:
8 oz.Sour Cream
Mayo – optional, 2-3T.
Canned Chipotles in Adobo, pureed, 1-2 T.
Frozen OJ concentrate 1-2T.
Fresh Lemon Juice 2 tsp., optional
Kosher Salt to taste
Thinly slice some ham, some pork, and grate some gruyere.
Place 2 thin bread slices opposite each other, like a butterfly. Spread Chipotle sour cream and then dijon on each piece of bread. Sprinkle w/ a little gruyere(this is to make the sandwich stick together) and press down. Top one bread slice with a thin layer of pork, gruyere and ham, in that order. Top with the other bread slice, cheese side down.
Heat a non-stick skillet to hot, add a little butter and spread around. Add sandwich (it should sizzle); adjust heat to med.high. Press your palms down on the sandwich with all your weight, to compress.(or use anther technique or a sandwich press.) When med ium brown, flip over and repeat squishing/weighting, til medium brown and the cheese is melted. Serve with sliced pickles.
An authentic Cuban sandwich is roasted pork, ham and swiss cheese on Cuban bread with dill pickles, maybe some yellow mustard. Definitely NO chipotle anywhere near the thing. Chipotle is not used in any traditional Cuban dish that I've ever heard of. Sorry to be a stickler, but it's a pet peeve of mine when people think all latin cuisines are the same. No spicy peppers in Cuban cooking!
gingin, of course you are correct in your description of a TRADITIONAL cuban sandwich. but I did not claim Traditional. I claimed the PERFECT.
I am extremely knowledgeable about all forms of Latin cuisine and I would never think all latin cooking is the same. If you prefer a trad. Cuban, by all means go for it. Just don't assume that 'Perfect' for someone- translates as 'Traditionally Correct'.