When Joelen asked me if I wanted to be part of a virtual baby shower for Krystal over at Mrs. Regueiro's Plate, of course my answer was yes. Krystal and her husband, Eric, are expecting a baby (nicknamed Cookie) in early May. Krystal is a member of the cooking board I frequent and has participated in some of the recipe swaps I organize. When I found out she was pregnant I was thrilled for them. Just from conversations Krystal and I have had online I know she's going to be a great mom. They are Team Green, which means they don't know if it's a boy or a girl, but I think it's a girl. I can't wait to find out!
Instead of the usual baby shower fare, Joelen asked us to pay homage to Krystal's Filipino background and Eric's Cuban background by making either a Filipino or Cuban inspired dish. It didn't have to be authentic, just inspired from either of these cuisines. Since I started a new job recently I didn't have too much time to find something new to make, so I decided to revisit an old favorite - the Cuban sandwich. I've made these Cuban sandwiches before many times, although I still haven't tried roasting my own pork, which I imagine would make these sandwiches incredible. Still, my supermarket's roast pork is amazing and these sandwiches are utterly delicious.
If this was for an in-person baby shower (which usually involves finger food) I'd buy small dinner or slider rolls for the sandwiches, making them more bite-size.
Be sure to stop over to Krystal's blog to wish her well, and check out Joelen's blog for a roundup of all the delicious dishes prepared for the virtual shower.
Modified from Cook's Country
4 potato sandwich rolls
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 cloves garlic (small cloves), grated or minced
1/3 cup dill or hamburger pickle rounds
1/3 cup jarred banana pepper rings
1/4 pound thinly sliced baked ham, preferably Virginia or Black Forest
1/2 pound cold roast pork, sliced thin
8 slices thinly sliced Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Split rolls in half. Combine mayo, mustard and garlic in a small bowl (can be done ahead of time, which allows the flavors to marry. Keep refrigerated). Spread rolls with mayonnaise mixture, then layer pickles, peppers, ham, roast pork, and cheese onto bottom half, finishing with cheese on top. Set tops of rolls in place and press down to flatten sandwiches.
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, heat large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat for 4 minutes. Brush tops of sandwiches with melted butter and place in skillet buttered side down. Brush bottoms of rolls with remaining butter and use preheated pot to compress sandwiches for 15 to 20 seconds. Cook (keeping pot on sandwiches but not pressing down) until first side is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pot, flip sandwiches over, replace pot on top of sandwiches, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut in half and serve immediately.