Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots

These easy-to-make pickled shallots will soon be your secret ingredient to take your Cubano or any sandwich to a whole new level.

Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots by FamilySpice.com

A lifetime ago, I used to live in Miami. They were four crazy years of my life. I worked 60-hour work weeks at an advertising agency, straight out of college. I had no family out there so I would travel and explore on my own or with my friends at work. The great thing about Miami is that this city is a one-stop-shop where you can experience a dozen different cultures at your leisure.

From stone crabs to palomilla steak, conch fritters to arroz con pollo – I sampled it all. The ad agency I worked for was near Little Havana. And with many Cubans working alongside with me, I received an authentic Cuban food education during my four years in Florida. The gas station down the street would make fabulous Cubano sandwiches any time you craved one. Further down the street, you could see folks sitting in cafe’s enjoying their Cuban coffee and pastries.

Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots by FamilySpice.com

Those were hectic, crazy good times.

Watching the movie “Chef” brought it all back to me, well, at least the food part. A couple of months ago, my husband finally saw the movie (angry that I didn’t tell him about it sooner) and got a hankering for Cubanos. The same way he went on an Italian cooking spree after watching a few seasons of “The Sopranos.” We are what we watch, I guess.

My boys heard about the movie (and the Cuban food), so then THEY watched it and we all agreed: Cubano sandwiches were in our near future.

The good news is that you can make the same pork roast and sandwiches from the movie using Chef Roy Choi’s Cubano recipe. But, I needed to add my own twist and kick up the flavor a bit. I decided to make some Pickled Shallots for my Cubanos.

Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots by FamilySpice.com

My hubby first enjoyed the traditional version of this sandwich. Then I convinced him to try mine. The pickled shallots on their own are pretty potent. But, used in this sandwich (or any other hearty sandwich) and you have something special.

Making the pickled shallots is super easy. If you are impatient, you can enjoy them after 24-hours. But, I preferred their flavor after a week of pickling.

Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots by FamilySpice.com

To press the sandwiches, I have this Cast-Iron Grill Press. It requires a little muscle, but it is cheaper and easier to store than a big countertop griddle like this one.

Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots by FamilySpice.com

The Cubanos took me back to my life before my husband and kids. I was missing the fried plantains, but a sangria was easy enough to make and enjoy. One of these days, I’ll take my family back to east to explore Miami together. Until then, these Cubanos will have to do.

Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots

These easy-to-make pickled shallots will soon be your secret ingredient to take your Cubano sandwich to a whole new level. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz shallots, (approximately 3)
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 soft baguette
  • 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices of ham
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 lb cooked pork roast
  • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 2 large dill pickles, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickled shallots
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise

Directions:

  1. NOTE: Pickled Shallots need to prepared 3-7 days prior to serving.
  2. Peel and slice into thin rounds:
    • 6 oz shallots , (approximately 3)
  3. Transfer shallots in an 8-ounce jar.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat add:
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp granulated sugar
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
  5. Stir until everything is dissolved and vinegar is just begins to boil.
  6. Carefully pour hot vinegar into the jar with the shallots.
  7. Seal the jar and let it rest until it reaches room temperature, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pickled shallots will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
  8. You can also can the shallots using hot water: click here for canning instructions.
  9. To prepare the cubano sandwiches, slice in half lengthwise:
    • 2 soft baguette
  10. Brush the open faces with:
    • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  11. Toast the bread, open face down, on a griddle pan or regular pan over medium heat until just barely golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  12. Brown in the same pan for approximately 1 minuter per side:
    • 4 slices of ham
  13. On the bottom slices of the baguettes, spread evenly:
    • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  14. Add over the mustard layer the browned ham, then add:
    • 1/4 lb cooked pork roast
  15. Over the pork roast layer add:
    • 4 slices of Swiss cheese
  16. Top with:
    • 2 large dill pickles , thinly sliced
    • 1/4 cup pickled shallots
  17. On the top slices of the baguettes, spread evenly:
    • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  18. Place the top piece of baguette over the rest of the sandwich.
  19. Brush your hot griddle pan or sandwich press with:
    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  20. Place sandwich onto the hot oiled pan and press down with a Cast-Iron Grill Press (or another heavy pan) until toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
  21. Flip sandwich over and press again until toasted and cheese has melted, another 3-5 minutes.
  22. Repeat the pressing with the second sandwich and serve immediately.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: Don't eat pork? Use roast chicken and turkey-based ham instead.

Prep Time:

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Total Time:

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2 Responses to Cubano Sandwiches with Pickled Shallots

  1. Lois at #

    I love this idea and your stories. Will you please take me with you back east? We can take my family if you’d like.

  2. Ah, I love you, Lois! We should do a family trip to Florida. It’s such a fun place to explore! And the ocean is a lot warmer over there!

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