Recipe by FloridaNative
One of the most popular Cuban dishes to take root in the Florida Keys is the Cuban press, a grilled, layered sandwich reminiscent of the classic American sub. A Cuban press consists of dill pickles, thinly sliced roast pork, thinly sliced sweet ham, and Swiss cheese, layered in that order on a sliced loaf of Cuban bread, which is crusty on the outside and soft inside. Unlike the submarine sandwich, a press contains no lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, or bell peppers. Butter and mustard are optional. The origin of the Cuban sandwich is vague, but it was popular with workers in the Cuban sugar mills and cigar factories in the 1800s. Cubans immigrated to the Keys in large numbers after the Cuban Revolution in 1868, when Vicente Martinez Ybor moved his cigar-making factory from Havana to Key West. More than likely, the Cuban sandwich, which utilized leftover Cuban roast pork, came with them. From "The Florida Keys Cookbook" and posted for ZWT5.
Top Review by lauralie41
Wonderful sandwich that I enjoyed so much more than what we have available at a local deli. I did use the french bread, Stacker dill pickles (what I had in the fridge), the butter and mustard. Pressed the sandwich with my cast iron grill pan and that worked great. Would like to find the cuban bread and make this sandwich again. Thank you FN for posting this recipe. Made and reviewed for ZWT5, Bodacious Brickhouse Babes team.
- 1 loaf Cuban bread, sliced in half lengthwise (or French bread)
- 1 (8 -12 ounce) jarhamburger dill pickles or 1 (8 -12 ounce) jarsandwich stacker dill pickle slices
- 1 lb thinly sliced cuban roast pork
- 1 lb thinly sliced sweet cured ham
- 1 lb sliced baby swiss cheese
- 3 tablespoons soft butter (optional)
- yellow mustard (optional)
- vegetable oil cooking spray
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat sandwich press (see note below if you do not have a sandwich press).
- Cut bread loaf into 6-inch long pieces. Spread cut sides of bread with butter if desired, or mustard, or both.
- On the bottom slices of bread, layer sandwiches with generous portions of pickles, pork, ham, and cheese, in that order.
- Place top bread slices on sandwiches, and coat both top and bottom bread slices (outer surfaces) with vegetable cooking spray.
- Grill the sandwich for 4 to 5 minutes (2 to 3 minutes per side if using skillet and an iron pan for weight), or until bread is golden brown, cheese is melted, and sandwich is flattened.
- Cut each sandwich on the diagonal and serve with plantain chips.
- NOTE: Home cooks often have to improvise as many don't own sandwich presses. A waffle iron, panini grill, George Foreman grill, or bacon press will work. People have been known to cook the sandwich in a skillet and press it with a heated cast-iron frying pan or even a heated brick wrapped in aluminum foil.