The Cuban — it’s pork love on a plate.

Take a slow-roasted pork loin roast, a couple slices of ham, Swiss cheese and a little pickle, stack it all between a bit of mustard and crusty French bread and grill it.

It has to be one of the best things we brought back from our year in Florida.

My husband discovered the sandwich while flight instructing down in Venice.

A waitress at a little airport cafe suggested he try it.

He took me to the cafe later and tried to get me to order it.

I wouldn’t do it. I opted for a burger.

Big mistake.

I took a bite of his Cuban. It was awesome. We ended up sharing it.

If you can find (or make) true Cuban bread, do it! We only found it once while we lived down there.

Now we use French bread, which grills down great — flat and crusty.

A note on the pork loin. I use a slow-cooker, so I roast it slow and long, but not too long.

Basically, you want it moist and tender, but not falling apart. Slices of pork, rather than pieces, work best on the Cuban.

Cuban Sandwich

from a little airport cafe in Venice, Florida

makes 4 sandwiches

  • 4 to 8 thick slices of roasted pork loin
  • 8 thin slices Virginia ham
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 sandwich-sliced pickles
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • mustard
  • butter or margarine

Preheat grill (we use a George Foreman), panini grill or gridle. Coat with cooking spray.

Slice French bread into about 5-inch to 6-inch sandwich-sized slices (we usually get about 5 to 6 sandwiches from one loaf). Take one slice of bread and slice horizontally, so that you have crust on the top and bottom.

Lightly butter the inside of each slice, then lightly dot/smear with mustard.

Then layer — pork roast slices, Swiss cheese, ham slices and pickle. Top with bread slice and press down gently.

Place sandwiches, one or two at a time, on grill. If using a Foreman/panini grill, carefully place top of grill over sandwich and press down gently. If using a gridle or pan, place a lid or pan over top of sandwich and press down (if using this method, you will need to flip the sandwich over after a few minutes in order to grill both sides).

Grill for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bread is golden and crispy and the cheese has melted.

Plate and cut each sandwich on the diagonal. Enjoy!

Note: I like to warm the roast and ham before putting the sandwiches together.