Everyone has their own clever ideas on how to use leftover ham. Whether it be in fried rice, pea and ham soup, quiche or shepherd’s pie, there’s no better ‘leftover dish’ than a Cuban sandwich.
Cubanos, as the dish is commonly known, are the real stars of the movie Chef, which follows the story of Carl Casper as he loses his restaurant job and starts a Cuban sandwich food truck. With help from real life celebrity chef Ray Choi, who makes a cameo appearance in the movie, Jon Favreau (who plays Carl Casper) shows off his culinary technique.
We’ve enlisted some help from Daniel Manns, owner of The Sandwich Bros in Surfers Paradise, to help us make the perfect Cubano. After leaving a corporate career to start a market stall business with his brother, Dan has gone on to own his own shop, a favourite haunt of Surfers Paradise office workers for its cabinets packed to the brim with sandwiches, salads and fresh baked goods.
A sandwich expert, Dan says the secret to a great Cubano is quality ingredients packed in order, before frying off the sandwich to crispy perfection.
Prep time 10 mins; Cook time 15 mins
2 thin slices baked leg ham
¾ cup of pulled pork (Buy it ready to go at any supermarket.)
2 pieces of good quality sourdough. (Traditionally, you would use a white baguette, 15 cm in length, split lengthwise but, not being sticklers for tradition, we use sourdough for a crispier sandwich.)
Melted butter, for brushing
Yellow or American mustard (to taste)
2 thin slices Swiss cheese
2 or 3 dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise
Heat a frypan and add the pulled pork to warm.
Then start to assemble your sandwich. We like to use the following order to make sure the sauces don’t soak into the bread and you have a sandwich that is super crispy on the outside but maintains the moisture on the inside:
Place your ham down first, followed by the pulled pork, pickles, American mustard and then Swiss cheese.
Butter the outside of the sandwich. Place in a hot sandwich press. Cook until cheese melts and outsides are browned and crispy, about 3-4 minutes.
Let sandwiches stand 1 minute before cutting in half. Serve immediately.
Visit The Sandwich Bros at 38 Cavill Ave., Surfers Paradise
NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on 2 January 2018.