So? Did you get to meet Raquel Rabade Roque, author of The Cuban Kitchen, owner of Downtown Book Center in Miami, and co-founder of the Miami Book Festival at Books & Books last week? If so, you probably spent the weekend preparing her version of tostones, rabo encendido, and arroz con leche. If not, we've got a teaser to get you cookin'.
"In Cuba and now in Miami, we simply call it el sandwich," she explains in her cookbook. "The Cuban sandwich has been a tradition since the 1930s, when it became a typical merienda, or snack, in the cosmopolitan cafes of Havana.
"Even though there are many variations on the Cuban sandwich, every Cuban follows a few unspoken rules: Never put mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, or bell peppers on your Cuban sandwich. For an authentic Cuban sandwich try not to use a panini grill -- a real Cuban sandwich doesn't have little lines grilled into it. When finished grilling, slice the sandwich diagonally across the middle, to make triangle- shaped wedges, and enjoy."
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1⁄3 loaf Cuban bread
Yellow mustard to taste
3 slices sweet Virginia ham
3 slices roast pork, preferably home-cooked with mojo sauce
3 slices Swiss cheese
4 slices sweet pickles
Directions: Slice the bread lengthwise and spread mustard on both halves. Place the slices of ham, pork, and cheese on bread and follow with the pickle. Place the sandwich on the press grill and cook until it is hot and melted. Slice diagonally across the middle and serve.