For Christmas, JenFinn got me a subscription to Gourmet. The first episode I received was March 2009 and I could not stop drooling over a picture of the most delicious sandwich on the cover. It was one of the first recipes I planned on making for Raul's birthday aka my 24, 24, 24 party. However, after a night and morning of cooking, we were pretty tired and not really in the mood for any more batter. In a rare twist, the recipe in the magazine only makes one sandwich so I increased it by ten times the amount and then cut the sandwiches so that everybody at the party could enjoy some. Unfortunately, I didn't know until the day of the party that birthday boy is not a fan of pickles so I made some sandwiches without them. The exact origin of a real Cuban sandwich is unknown, but this is an interesting spin on them. Instead of mashing the garlic into a paste, I just chopped it which meant that some people bit into pieces of garlic, but since we were amongst friends, it was ok.
Even if you think you don't like mayonnaise, do not skip that step. The garlic is amazing and it really ties the whole sandwich together.
(Adapted from Gourmet, March 2009)
Makes 10 sandwiches
20 slices firm bread
1/4 cup yellow mustard
40-50 dill pickle rounds
20 slices black forest ham
20 slices smoked turkey
20 thin slices Swiss cheese
1 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4-1/2 cup unsalted butter
Spread 1 slice of bread with mustard and top with 4-5 pickles, 2 slices of each meat, and 2 slices of cheese. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then mix with mayonnaise. Spread on remaining slice of bread and assemble sandwich.
Melt butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat. Cook sandwich, uncovered, until underside is well browned, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook remaining side, covered, until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 minute. Cut the sandwiches into quarters and serve warm.