Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins

I love to watch the Food Network and I saw this sandwich on one of their programs. I did not catch the name of the restaurant, but the story behind this sandwich was interesting. It said that this sandwich was created for "fussy eater" A father used to take his daughter to lunch on Saturdays at this popular restaurant in Havana, Cuba (before Castro) and the daughter was a fussy eater so there were very few things she liked. She loved strawberry jam, so the father asked the waiter to come up with a sandwich for her and so the Elena Ruth sandwich was born. I have not tried it, but when I saw the recipe, I knew it was something that I would like, however, I am not a fussy eater! The amounts of each ingredient are really to your own taste. I have estimated for the sake of the recipe format. I believe the cuban bread would be Midnight sandwich bread or any sweet bread that you like. If you try this, I hope you enjoy it! Addendum: I am adding an explanation of the difference between jam and jelly for our International members. Jam vs. jelly and then there are preserves too! All are made with fruit mixed with sugar and pectin The difference comes from the form the fruit takes. In jelly, the fruit is in the form of fruit juice, so the product is set and is smooth and sometimes slightly opaque. In jam, the fruit is in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit. The product is not as stiff as jelly. Preserves are made of chunks of fruit set in a syrup (made of fruit juices) or in a jam. As for the recipe, I believe it is stated to use the jam so the recipe would be true to the original way it was prepared.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 sweet bread roll (a soft type of bread, such as Hawaiian bread or an roll made with egg)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (not jelly)
  • 2 -3 ounces turkey breast, sliced


  1. Spread cream cheese on one side of the bread.
  2. Next spread the jam on the same side of the bread.
  3. Follow with the turkey breast.
  4. Orginially, the sandwich would be pressed with a sandwich press till warm and toasted, similar to a pannini sandwich.
  5. If you do not have a press, then you can toast it in the oven till warm.
Most Helpful

Dec. 15, 2010
Addiction update. Lunch today, had two. Guilty pleasures. LOL
Sept. 18, 2009
I'm hooked on this!!!!
TGirl had posted her photo in Cooking Photos and when I saw it--ran to the kitchen for lunch--and this!
Had to make it on wheat bread grilled in butter (the devil made me, honest! :) )
So delicious and wll become my newest (but not only) addiction. Loved the stories of it's origin. THX, Bobtail for a truly tasty lunch! Caroline
UPDATE: have made many times, but this time made with spreadable cream cheese with chives and raspberry jam. AWESOME!!!!!!!

Caroline Cooks December 16, 2010

Made on Hawaiian rolls (I used 2 because they were biscuit size). I used deli sliced turkey beast. The combination of cream cheese, jam, and turkey on a sweet roll is surprisingly delicious! (and this from someone who grew up on peanut butter and bologna sandwiches LOL.)I love these! Thanks for posting Bobtail. Made for When It's Hot Tag Game.

ElaineAnn July 30, 2010

This sandwich is awesome & delicious - I wish I knew more adjectives to use. They are sweet little pieces of sheer delight!We call them Elena Ruz Sandwiches and they also make them to serve at fancy affairs by using the little Cuban Sandwich bread that is used for bocaditos. They look lovely! I was thumbing through an old Cuban cookbook and there was the Elena Ruz - the story goes that this socialite in the 1930's would go to the El Carmelo Restaurant in Vedado and order it - and you must make it on white bread with crusts removed and lightly toasted. Then we made them here again and the residents went wild & started talking about the sandwich & how much they liked them! It is stated to use jelly and I heard all sorts of wonderful stories about their lives in Cuba (before Castro). The sandwich is one of a kind and is delicious! I am so glad that you posted this lovely recipe. They taste even better the second time! Diane :)

Manami January 10, 2008