RECIPE: Get your Cuban sandwich pronto

Quick Cuban Sandwiches. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Quick Cuban Sandwiches. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Prior to the pandemic, there was a period when I ate a Cuban sandwich from Havana Sandwich Shop every Sunday for lunch. The Buford Highway restaurant is on the way home from the climbing gym, and its porky, cheesy sandwich, sharp with mustard and pickles, was the perfect post-exercise, belly-filling meal. These days, I’m more likely to make the sandwich at home. It’s not the same, of course, but it still satisfies when I’m not looking to leave the house.

To make the sandwiches quick, easy and 5:30 Challenge-appropriate, I skip the roast pork portion of the sandwich, opting instead for extra ham. (If you’ve got leftover roast pork in the fridge from another meal, go ahead and add it.) Swiss cheese and dill pickles are requirements; choose deli-sliced cheese and sandwich-sliced pickles for ease. For the bread, I use ciabatta rolls, but any 6- to 8-inch roll will work. On both sides of the bread, I slather Heinz “Mayomust,” which is essentially a mixture of equal parts mayonnaise and yellow mustard (a homemade blend will, of course, work).

I find it is easier to cook multiple sandwiches at once using the broiler. Assemble and toast open-face until the cheese is melty, then close the sandwiches. Use a sheet pan and your body weight to press the sandwiches together and give the bread a bit of a smoosh. With that, you’ve got Cuban sandwiches in less time than it takes to load up the car.

ExploreMore easy weeknight dinner recipes
Quick Cuban Sandwiches. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Quick Cuban Sandwiches. (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Quick Cuban Sandwiches
  • 4 individual ciabatta or other 6- to 8-inch crusty rolls, halved
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise-mustard sauce (see note)
  • 8 dill pickle sandwich slices
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
  • 8 slices deli Swiss cheese
  • Note: Heinz now makes what it calls “mash-ups” of multiple condiments, including Mayomust mayonnaise and mustard sauce. To make your own, mix together 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup yellow mustard.
  • Heat broiler to high with an oven rack placed in the position nearest to the broil.
  • Place the ciabatta, cut-side down, on a baking sheet. Place a second baking sheet on top and, using all of your weight, press down on the top baking sheet to smash the bread. Transfer to the oven and broil until lightly browned and crisp, 1 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and flip the bread cut-side up. Spread each half with the mayonnaise-mustard sauce. Top the bottom half of each roll with 2 pickles and 3 ounces ham. Top the ham and the other half of each roll with 1 slice of cheese. Return to the broiler and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Carefully fold the tops of the rolls over the bottoms. Place the second baking sheet back on top of the sandwiches and press the sandwiches to adhere. Slice each sandwich in half on the diagonal and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 723 calories (percent of calories from fat, 51), 38 grams protein, 52 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 41 grams total fat (15 grams saturated), 97 milligrams cholesterol, 1,787 milligrams sodium.
ExploreMore must-try recipes

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.