Saturday, July 1, 2017

Cuban Medianoche Sandwiches

This sandwich is almost the same as the famous Cuban Sandwich; the only difference is the bread. It uses a sweet bread or roll instead of a crusty loaf.  In Spain, they sell rolls called "Medianoche", which would be perfect for this.  You might be able to buy the Cuban version Stateside, but I've never lived in a place where I've seen them.  Here, I used Italian sweet "milk rolls", which were perfect.  I bet Hawaiian rolls would be wonderful (the sub-sized ones).

Most of the fam loved these.  For the pork, I bought Italian "porchetta" from the deli- it's seasoned roast pork that one can buy anywhere here.  I loved the ease of using this- I didn't have to roast my own pork.  In the States, maybe you can buy plain roast pork from the deli in slices (but I have no idea).

I used a large cast-iron skillet to cook these in.  Since they're pressed sandwiches, I topped the sandwiches with a smaller skillet, and then placed a brick in the smaller skillet to weigh it down and press on the sandwiches.  (We have bricks in our kitchen fireplace.  You could also place a heavy can of food in the second skillet).

Cuban Medianoche Sandwiches
adapted from the Kitchn

6 medianoche, brioche, milk rolls, or soft sandwich rolls (Hawaiin sub rolls would work)
2 tablespoons yellow or Dijon mustard
8 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
9 ounces sliced dill pickles
6 thick slices cooked pork (porchetta or deli sliced pork)
12 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1.  Heat a panini press or a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, assemble the sandwiches.

2.  Split the buns in half, making sure to not cut the whole way through. Spread the mustard on the cut side of the top halves of the buns. Top the mustard with the Swiss cheese, pickles, and ham. Divide the pork among the bottom buns. Close the buns and spread the butter on the outsides of the buns, spreading on both top and bottom.

3.  For a panini press: Place the sandwiches in the heated panini press, working in batches if needed, and close. Press until golden-brown on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes.

4.  For the stovetop method: Place the sandwiches in the heated cast iron skillet, working in batches if needed. Weigh down the sandwiches with an aluminum foil-wrapped brick, or top with another cast iron skillet weighed down with a heavy can (or place the brick on top of the pan for more pressure). Cook undisturbed until golden-brown on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the sandwiches and cook until the second side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes more.

5.  Cut the sandwiches on the diagonal and serve.

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