Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cuban Sandwiches

We love Cuban sandwiches and enjoy getting them from the Aroma Café in Maryville where they seem to be authentic - our first was in Little Havana in Miami.  Since we had some pork left form our Luau Blogger Party (header shot above), Bev decided we should make them for supper.  A Cuban sandwich is basically roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and dill pickle on Cuban bread (we had to use French). 

One of the things we like from Aroma Café is their Mojo Sauce and we decided to try making our own using a recipe from because it contained cumin and both oregano and cilantro.

Mojo Sauceadapted from

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine

1. In a medium or large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and cook until JUST light brown.
3. Turn off heat and let stand 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the sour orange juice, water, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.
5. Heat mixture on high until a full, rolling boil is reached.
6. Boil for 2 minutes stirring a few times.
7. Remove from heat and allow mixture to come to room temperature.
8. Stir in cilantro.
9. Pour into a jar or shaker bottle with a tight fitting lid and shake well before using.

Notes: The recipe called for sour orange juice and has a different ratio of orange to lime juice than the one we used to make it.  Also the directions mention water but there was none in the ingredients list.

For the sandwiches, we sliced the pork and nuked just enough to take the chill off, and built the sandwiches.

Two 1/8" slices of pork
Two slices deli ham
Two slices baby Swiss cheese
Layer of 1/8" dill pickle
Spicy mustard on one bread half
Mayo on one bread half (not normally used)
Pam sprayed on outside of each bread slice

Then we grilled them in our Panini press.

The trick is to keep moving the jar to keep it level as the bread settles and this was the result.

Not to take anything from the Cuban restaurants I've been to, but this was as good as I've ever had and the sauce was very good as well.  All of the sauce recipes I found used oil in the sauce, but Aroma Café’s seemed to just use water and we may give it a try next time.   I also may have to cook up and freeze a couple more pork butts like I did for the luau while I have banana leaves available.

Photos best if enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


6/26/2013 meal date


  1. We love a good Cuban sandwich too. Have found a lot of average tasting ones, but it's hard to find the real deal. Glad to see your recipe and your stamp of approval. The best Cuban sandwich we've ever had was in a hole-in-the-wall drive-in Cuban restaurant in St. Pete near the airport.

    We've made paninis in that same press :) Just as good as the fancy machine. BTW, Publix has sour orange juice in the Latino section of the supermarket. Sour oranges grew all over the islands and are an essential ingredient in an authentic conch salad.

  2. This sauce sounds wonderful, Larry. You aren't going to believe this, but we have the same panini press :-). The sandwich was, no doubt, delicious and it was a great use of your leftover pork. Have a great day and enjoy tomorrow's holiday. Blessings...Mary

  3. I love your panini press!! Just goes to show you don't always need fancy kitchen equipment :) And of course my other love is this sauce... I could think of many things it would go great with!! YUM!

  4. Larry, Cuban sandwiches sound good to us...but we've always thought that they were a bit bland. The mayonnaise, spicy mustard and mojo sauce are the keys to a good/flavorful Cuban sandwich! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. I never have leftovers from which to make wonderful sandwiches like these! Love your panini press: why not improvise if you can? Happy Independence Day, Larry!

  6. I guess I've never lived since I don't think I have ever had any Cuban food--especially a sandwich which looked like that... Interesting.. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy 4th of July. God Bless America.

  7. Yum....I'm still trying to get back into RV cooking mode. I always like new meal ideas :-)

  8. The sauce does sound amazing and the sandwich looks delicious!

  9. Thanks for sharing your link! I think your mojo sauce sounds wonderful. I like the cilantro in it...We will be making it! Yum!!


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