Coast Cooking

Make your own Cuban sandwich with a Mississippi twist

The Cuban sandwich isn't found on very many menus around here, and that's a pity.

In fact there are few Cuban places at all, and that, at least to a true foodie, is a real tragedy.

The Cuban really doesn't hail from Cuba at all, but was invented by Cuban immigrants in Florida.

To make it from scratch is a daunting task; it requires baking a ham and roasting pork, and on top of that, good Cuban bread is almost impossible to find.

But here's a few short cuts that will at least get you in the ball park.

A good quality sliced ham or deli ham will do, the roasted pork in most grocery stores delis will also work out pretty good.

For the bread you will have to visit a Hispanic grocery store. I buy mine at the store on the corner of Judge Sekul and Porter in Biloxi.

A pretty good Cuban, with a Mississippi twist

1 loaf Hispanic-style bread (used in Mexican torta)

2-3 slices smoked pork chop (comes in a package of 4 or 5)

1 thick slice roasted pork

2-3 slices Swiss cheese

1/2 cup olive salad (traditionally you would use several dill pickles)

Lots of mustard

Debone the pork chop and sauté in a little hot oil, then combine the ingredients in the traditional way, but the sandwich really does need to be pressed. If you do not have a sandwich press, place the sandwich in a large pan, place a small pan on top and weigh it down. Cook with butter just until the bread is toasted and the cheese melted.