Super Bowl Sandwiches

Super Bowl Sandwich ideas from CaridadWe were always sports fanatics. I grew up watching everything and anything sports-related. Naturally, watching led to participating.

My mami, all 5 foot one inches of her, had played tennis and basketball (!!) in Cuba. Mami is the one wearing those mod sixties sunglasses in the picture.

Papi played volleyball on a club team in Cuba that was exceptionally good. Papi is the tall slender one at the right in the photo.

My brother was a great football player. He’s the one hamming it up at the top of the bench.

My sister, Carmen, and I played everything in high school — field hockey (soccer was not a “sport” back then), volleyball, some basketball (I’m vertically challenged), volleyball and softball. Carmen is standing next to my mom and I’m standing next to my dad. Accurate since my sis is a twin to my mom, while I took after my dad — except height-wise. My sis and her family ended up with all the height.

Anyway, being sports fanatics and becoming totally emerged in American culture, one of the biggest sports events was the Super Bowl. Being Cuban, that also meant a ton of food would be available for friends and family who were coming to watch the game.

Here’s one of our favorites for you to try out for your Super Bowl spread!

Cuban Sandwiches and Medianoches
You see Cuban sandwiches appearing more and more everyday, especially with the panini craze that’s happening in a lot of places, basically because a Cuban sandwich is very similar to a panini in how it’s made.

What’s the difference between a Cuban sandwich and a Medianoche? A Medianoche is made with a light egg bread/roll rather than Cuban bread. The medianoche or “midnight” sandwich, was named that because the lighter version of the sandwich became popular as a midnight after-Club snack in the 1940s and 50s.

Cuban bread is rather unique — light and airy since it’s made with lard, but it does have a “crust” of sorts. If you’re going to try making a Cuban sandwich, you’re better off with an inexpensive store Italian bread with a lighter crust rather than a good bread with a nice hard crust. Why? Like a panini, you grill and flatten a Cuban sandwich, so a light crust is better since it allows for a flatter sandwich.

In Cuba (and Miami), getting a Cuban sandwich for lunch or as a snack was kind of like going to McDonalds. You could get one anywhere. When I’d go to South Beach, I’d head to David’s Cafeteria on the corner of 11th and Collins for a sandwich sometimes. I hit David’s every morning though for a few Cuban coffees — cafe con leche!

In SEX AND THE SOUTH BEACH CHICAS and SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN, the chicas (girls) stop for coffee and sandwiches at a shop that was loosely based on David’s.

What you’ll need to make a Cuban Sandwich:
Somewhere to grill the sandwich — George Foreman grill, panini maker, sandwich press (plancha) or what I do — flat baking tray with a larger cast iron griddle.
Caridad's Cuban Sandwich
Ingredients:
Cuban Bread or Italian Bread with light crust or egg bread roll
butter
roast pork (follow my family recipe on the Cook’s Treat page or check your local deli counter)
Virginia ham/Honey ham
Swiss Cheese

(Please note that the traditional recipe calls for you to also put mustard and pickles on the sandwich. YUK!)

So here goes on the assembly:

Slice the bread lengthwise.
Layer a few slices each of ham, pork and swiss cheese on the bread.
Butter the outside of the bread.

Place the bread on the ungreased baking tray. Place a layer of foil above the sandwiches and then place the heavy griddle above (or heavy cast iron pans/sandwich press).

If you are using a panini maker or George Foreman grill, just put the sandwich right on them.

Bake/Grill the sandwich (at about 375 degrees), pressing down on the top griddle/press occassionally in order to flatter the sandwich. In the oven, it takes about twenty minutes or so to get a nice toast on the bread, melt the cheese and reheat the ham and pork.

Cut into hero-size lengths — about six inches. Cut on a diagonal (the traditional way the Cuban Sandwich is served).

If you’re not a pork lover, you can substitute a good roast turkey for the pork and the sandwich will still be as tasty!

Have fun watching the game and hopefully having a Cuban sandwich!

14 thoughts on “Super Bowl Sandwiches”

  1. Thank you for helping me to post a comment for the Hershey’s Kisses contest. It feels good that you would answer me and care about your readers. Want to win the Hershey’s Kisses and keep the address you sent to come back on 2-14-07. Talk to you then.

  2. I like mustard normally, just not on my Cuban sandwiches. As for pickles, I don’t normally like them at all. Except for possibly those half-sour ones which are more like cucumbers.

    I loved to watch hockey! I grew up in that era when the Islanders were really good and we were right near the arena.

    Also watched Wrestling — back then only the Spanish language channels carried it. It was quite a site, even back then.

    Margaret — If you’re looking for the Valentine’s day contest, just come back on Valentine’s day and post on that one special entry — it’s going to feature a lot of top and up and coming authors.

    As for the Hershey’s Kisses contest, you are entered just by posting a comment! Good luck!

  3. I am trying to enter the contest from The Romance Studio on Caridad Pioneiro’s blog site. It for many items and many books. Don’t understand how a BLOG site works. Can you tell me where to go to enter this contest? Thanks.

  4. Hi Caridad!! Hmmm…I think I am hungry now. *L* I think I am going to visit my local Cuban restaurant…I live in Miami…they are everywhere. *L* I love medianoches on “ppan dulce” *sweet bread*. The bread is softer and goe well with the ham and cheese. Great to see these sandwiches get around!

    Maithe

  5. I may not be a big sports fan, but I do know these sandwhiches would have been worth watching the game for! I will be trying to make one soon!

  6. We watched Sat. night hockey on TV and today I love watching sports of all kinds: curling, football, skiing, etc. The sandwich sounds great and I like mustard and pickles on mine.

  7. Glad you all liked the recipes and yes, drat the diet. I’ve been stuck now, but I’ve been bad as well — I didn’t work out at all this week!! Monday, it’s back to the treadmill and bike. Not as much fun as tennis, softball or any of the others, but considering it’s only about 20 degrees outside (that’s fahrenheit which is way cold), the indoor equipment is the only way to go.

    I used to play handball growing up, as well as racquetball and paddleball. Actually, I was game to try anything. I also love to bowl, but no one in my family does, so I don’t get to do it as often as I would like.

  8. Handball had always been my passion and play. What’s so great about it is that you could change losing into winning in just a few minutes. My brother is the one for basketball and football.

  9. THanks for the delicious recipe! I love watching all sorts of sports. Family gathering together, that’s what isit is all about, isn’t it?

  10. That’s a great picture of you and your family!
    I’m really not into sports so I’ll just be reading today when the game is on.

  11. My family wasn’t big on sports watching but we all participated. My mom was a swimmer and dad a wrestler and I was a gymnast. My brother wasn’t interested, bless him.

    But now I am hungry after looking at that Cuban sandwich and reading the yummy recipes. Veggies just don’t measure up. Dratted diet…lol.

  12. OOH yum those sounds scrumptious. I also grew up playing football and basketball. No softball couldnt stand it. lol. Still don’t even like to watch it. But we alway watched football the entire time I was growing up. Since my hubby is not interested it sports so much I don’t watch it much anymore. But like to follow the superbowl

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