Mid-winter. I should be braising lamb shanks. I should be stewing a pot of greens. I should be wallowing in warm, wet comfort food.
But Anita made Cuban sandwiches, and I suddenly needed one.
You know how these blog viruses just grab you by the throat? I was a goner.
Plus, I happened to be the lucky recipient of some of the insanely delicious roast pig that Anita procured for her husband's 40th birthday. All I needed was some bread and ham. I had homemade dill pickles in the fridge already, and there's always some Gruyere cheese on hand. Mustard. Butter.
My recipe differed from Anita's in just two ways. One, Anita used mayonnaise instead of butter. Two, she cooked her sandwiches in a skillet on the stove. I cooked mine in the oven. (Actually, three, Anita used pulled pork and we used sliced.)
Let me explain. You assemble the sandwich. Wrap it in aluminum foil. Heat the oven to 400º. Choose a cast-iron skillet large enough for the sandwiches, and that will allow a slightly smaller cast-iron vessel to fit over the top of them. We have an antique square skillet, and our Dutch oven fit perfectly atop it.
About 25 minutes in the oven, and the bread acquires a lovely toastiness. It does not get steamy! And the sandwiches flatten out, like they're supposed to. The pickles, which do not show up in the photo, were subsumed by the cheese. Ooh!
This is not a recipe blog, as you know. Read Anita's post; it's perfection in detail and imagery. And then try the foil-wrapped oven version if you prefer. Either way, you'll get a sandwich you want again tomorrow.
Darn, I'm out of pig.