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Cuban Sandwich

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of any fat or tough membranes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • 4 individual Cuban bread loaves or 1 loaf Cuban or French bread, cut into 4 sections
  • 12 very thin slices smoked ham
  • 8 thin slices Swiss cheese
  • 12 slices dill pickle
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 400?F.
  • Sprinkle the pork tenderloin with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over high heat. Carefully add the tenderloin to the oil and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the skillet and place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the meat registers 160?F.
  • Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the skillet from the oven. Carefully remove the pork and the garlic cloves from the skillet and allow to rest, undisturbed, on a clean cutting board for 10 minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
  • When the garlic cloves have cooled slightly, squeeze the pulp from the insides of the cloves into the mayonnaise mixture, and discard the outer husks. Mix well.
  • Slice the pork diagonally into thin, 1/4-inch slices.
  • Using a serrated bread knife, slice the bread loaves in half horizontally.
  • Smear about 2 tablespoons of the mayonnaise mixture onto each sandwich bottom. Top with 3 to 4 slices of pork and 3 thin slices of ham. Place 2 slices of cheese and 3 dill pickle slices on top of the meat. Top each with the other sandwich half.
  • In a medium nonstick skillet or a griddle, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Place 1 sandwich in the melted butter and carefully press the top of the sandwich into the skillet using a large metal spatula. Be careful when using metal on a nonstick skillet, as it can scratch the surface. Cook until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using the spatula, turn the sandwich and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until golden, pressing with the spatula to flatten. Remove to a plate and keep warm.
  • Continue with the remaining sandwiches and butter. Serve the sandwiches warm.