It's possible these Mexican Cuban Sandwiches outgun the classic Sándwich Cubano — these have pickled jalapeños and chipotle mayo to go along with the pork/ham combo. A classic Cuban sandwich uses pickles and mustard to make the pork and ham crackle, but we're putting a little heat in. It's very unlikely, like mega-meteor unlikely, that you will find this sandwich in Cuba or Mexico, but don't let that stop you from enjoying this delicious, hot creation. Oh, if you happen to have some carnitas or roast pork already handy, then you are on the fast track to sandwich joy.
If you don't, you're in luck. This recipe is using cooked carnitas from this slow cooker carnitas recipe, but you can use any roast or pulled pork that is already cooked.
For the Sandwich
1cup cooked carnitas or roast pork
4 Ham slices
slices of cheese
1/2cup pickled jalapeño peppers
3-4tablespoons chipotle mayonnaise
2 bread rolls (or baguette bread if Cuban bread not available)
If you are warming up the carnitas, heat up a dollop of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add a heaping cup of carnitas and cook until the underside is crisping up, approximately 5-7 minutes. You can add the ham slices to the pan for the last couple minutes of cooking if you want.
For the Chipotle Mayo, combine the listed ingredients in a blender or food processor. Taste for heat level and seasoning.
Each sandwich gets a layer of chipotle mayo, diced pickled jalapeños, cheese, pork or carnitas, and 2 ham slices.
Cook the sandwiches in a skillet over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes per side. Press down on the sandwiches with a casserole dish or pan to compress them. You can also add a thin layer of butter to the skillet if you want to crisp up the edges of the sandwich.
Cut in half and serve immediately with the chipotle mayo and pickled jalapeños on standby to add to future bites if needed.
Swiss cheese is commonly used for traditional Cuban sandwiches, but there is lots of leeway on choice of cheese. I'm not a fan of Swiss cheese so I used Provolone.
The measurements listed for the chipotle mayo will make enough for 3-4 sandwiches. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Sweet ham is traditionally used in Cuban sandwiches. If available, try to use sweet ham slices but it's not a dealbreaker, regular ham will work fine, too.
If using a traditional sandwich roll, you can always tear out inside portions of the bread to make the sandwiches flatter and less "bready."