Friday, June 1, 2012

Cuban Paninis

Several years ago, Ken and I stayed with my sister Patty and her husband Hal.  They made us paninis on their panini grill.  I had never even heard of a panini, and fell in love.  I hurried home and bought me a panini grill and have been trying different combinations ever since.  My husband and I agree that this is the best one we've tried.  There's something about this strange combination of flavors that is absolutely delicious.  There are many variations of the Cuban Panini.  I looked on lots of recipe websites and kind of combined ideas from several.  It  appears you can use almost any kind of meat, but the most popular is pork.  I had some salami that I needed to use, so I used that with ham.  Man, is it good.  And good news:  You don't have to have a panini grill.  It makes the nice grill marks, but  the main thing is that the sandwich be "pressed."  You can use a regular skillet and just put another heavy pan on top of the sandwich and press down.  Be sure to put a piece of foil between.  Or another website suggested using a brick wrapped in foil.  The pressing makes it melt and goo together.  So here's my version of a Cuban Panini.  For each sandwich:
1 bun.  My favorite bread to use for these is the torta bread (it's actually Mexican bread) from Costco.  Any crusty roll or bun would work.
Ham slices( I like black forest ham)
Salami slices
Swiss Cheese slices
Herb and Garlic Boursin, opt.  (If you have some, spread it on.)
Two dill pickle slices (Vlasic is a good brand)
Soft Butter
Spread the bread with the mayonaise, mustard and cheese spread (if you're using it.)  Layer ham, swiss and salami.  Top with the pickle slices. Put on the other half of bun. Butter the outside of the bread, if you'd like. Cook on the panini grill or as suggested above for about 2-3 minutes until browned.   Cut in half and enjoy!

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