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Don’t waste those last few pieces of leftover Thanksgiving Turkey… make some Turkey Cubano Sandwiches for everyone... or just for yourself!
I’ve been to Cuba and used to live in Miami so, believe me, I know the debate that rages over not only what makes a true Cubano Sandwich but how to make a Cubano Sandwich.
Everyone is in agreement on this point: A Cubano Sandwich is not a Panini. It is pressed on a sandwich press called a plancha (which is similar to a Panini press but without the grooved edges). I’ve improvised a plancha over the years (see below). Don’t laugh. It really works. (But, yes, you can use a Panini maker). Regardless, what you want to end up with is a thin hot sandwich oozing with cheesy goodness.
This much is also true: The sandwich ingredients are roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, thinly sliced dill pickles and, of course, Cuban bread (which looks like French bread, but is slightly sweet). I can’t find Cuban bread where I live, and I’m too frazzled right now to make it, so I use French bread (but never a baguette) or a bolillo. I scoop out a little of the bread on the inside so it isn't too "bready." Oh, and I add a little mustard to my Cubano, even though purists will certainly object.
Pretty easy, very delicious and the perfect way to wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday… finally!
Turkey Cubano Sandwich
prep: 5 minutes
cook: 10 minutes
½ a loaf of French bread (about 10 inches long)
2 tablespoons Dijon or regular prepared mustard
8 oz. ham
8 oz. turkey
¼ lb. Swiss cheese
6 pickle slices
1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
let’s get to it…
Cut the loaf of bread in half and then slice it open horizontally. Spread the mustard evenly on the inside of each of the 4 pieces.
Divide the meat, cheese and pickles evenly between the two sandwiches. Butter the top of the bread.
Heat a griddle or fry pan on medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the sandwiches, butter side down, in the hot pan. Use a heavy skillet, hamburger press or another clean heavy object to press down on the sandwich so it's 1/3 it’s original size. (You can also use a Panini maker if you have one!)
Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the top “press” and butter the top piece of bread. Flip the sandwiches over carefully and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.
Cut diagonally and serve immediately.
cooking know how: Watch the temperature of the griddle or fry pan so that you don’t over-toast the bread before the cheese melts.