Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cuban Sandwich

I love making sandwiches at home. I usually just try to make the different sandwiches I have at restaurants. We have a lot of Reubens, toasted subs, Philly cheese steaks, various grilled sandwiches, etc. As some of you know, I was a cook at IHOP. For real! I was trained by the corporate training team (big stuff!) too because I started at a new IHOP before it even opened. I was only 15. I was definitely the only female and the youngest one by about 20 years. I loved it at the beginning. The were very hesitant about hiring me as a cook, "are you sure you don't want to host or serve?" I was very determined for them to let me cook. So, they said I could get trained and they would see how I did on all the tests. Haha...please know that this is not how all the cooks get jobs at IHOP...obviously. Well, I basically wanted to prove everyone wrong because I hated when people thought girls couldn't do things (used to be a big feminist from about 5th-14th grade, then I realized I really don't want to mow the lawn or have dirty finger nails). There were three exams and I got 100% on all of them. I got a special pin to put on my chef hat. You may be very proud of me, but the truth is, I was just stubborn and memorized the menu and whatever else was on the test. My point is that my main position in the kitchen was the sandwich/salad station. I stood behind the pancake/head cook, who called out the orders. I got him and the grill guy everything they needed to make the food. Then, I made all the sandwiches, salads and a few other things like the pasta dishes. I was legally not allowed to use a knife since I wasn't 16 yet, but they let me anyways. Oh, and I made toast! Huge vat of butter, painted on with brush. Bottom line: I actually did learn how to make some classic diner sandwiches. There are a few little tricks. Ok, so I didn't use any of them for this sandwich, but I just wanted to have a really long paragraph about IHOP. Last thing, the rest of the cooks called be "Boo".

If you are still with me, I would like to tell you about this sandwich. I LOVE a Cuban sandwich. It is pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard. It is usually grilled or pressed in some sort of a bun or roll. This was the way to use up some of the rest of the pork tenderloin. I have also made Bobby Flay's recipe for a Miami Burger, which was equally amazing. That would be good if you don't have left over pork. The reason I love it is because I love pickles. And mustard. A lot. I used to drink pickle juice when I was little. So, you just kind of throw all those ingredients together and then you can make the sandwich panini style or grilled. When I make pressed sandwiches, I do the following:

I think sandwich presses are nice, but kind of a one hit wonder. I also don't like how you can only make two at a time (sometimes only one). As I have previously stressed, I like to make sandwiches for dinner, that can be rough on Scot's caloric intake. So, I need to make him at least two. I use my griddle pan. Then, I set my big oval skillet on top with soup cans in for weight. You need a pretty low heat, below medium. And a little olive oil on the griddle.

Lastly, always serve your sandwiches with a pickle. Always.


  1. they have cuban sandwiches at this place down the st. from my apt! probably not as good as yours though.

    btw someone's gonna sue ihop if they read this

  2. cubans are my fav! i had a cuban sandwich yesterday... i'm sure it wasn't as good as yours but i was trying to explain about why i love them so much and i decided its the pickle / mustard combo.
    ive never grilled sandwiches like this with the pot, i used to use my george foreman and it worked out pretty nice and even made grill marks so i felt fancy. george was killed in the move so maybe ill try this alternative.

  3. oh boy, anything with Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard's got MY attention :D Sounds fantastic - and you're gonna make me break my diet....again *sigh*