Cooking Lessons: The Perfect Cuban

June 25th, 2012

Good Enough to Eat

Back when I was cool, (and by cool, I mean not pregnant and able to walk without waddling and meet girlfriends for breezy cocktails after work) I used to frequent a little joint downtown called Pattern Bar. Pattern has a great, open air atmosphere, yummy cocktails named after your favorite designers and a clientele comprised of some of the best stunners the fashion district has to offer. Beyond that, their food is really, really good. Case and point, their Cuban Sandwich. I’ve been a longtime fan of this lunchtime fave so I was thrilled when owner Alex agreed to show me how to make the perfect Cuban. Turns out, it’s all about the exact order you layer on the ingredients.

Cuban Lesson

Here’s What You’ll Need

Rustic bread roll – think something crunchy like focaccia or a french roll

Sliced Swiss Cheese

Garlic Aioli

Caramelized Onions

Sliced Ham

Pulled Pork – you can use my recipe HERE

Sliced Banana Peppers

Diced Cilantro

Toasted to Perfection

Start out by cutting your roll in half, lightly brushing on some olive oil and toasting it a bit.

Half and Half

Spread your aioli on both halves, add your cheese to one half… remember, the order of the layers makes all the difference!

You're Such a Ham!

Add ham on top of cheese

Green With Envy

Top the other aioli with diced cilantro and banana peppers

Split the Difference

Top It Off

Top the cilantro/pepper layer with your pulled pork and your caramelized onions

Closed For Business

Add the other half to top of your onions and you’re ready to press this sandwich.

When Pressed

Put sandwich into a panini press and cook for five minutes… if you don’t have a press you can get a similar result by placing your sandwich in a hot pan and using another heavy pan (like a cast iron skillet) to weight it down. Flip once during the cooking process if using a pan.

Team Work!


Pattern serves their sandwich a little cup of green sauce that’s so good you’ll want to drink it alone… but don’t it’s really good to dip your sandwich in!

Bite Shot

Now typically I always include a “bite shot” in my cooking lessons but as I get larger and larger with this baby that particular shot doesn’t really make me feel great about the current state of affairs. So, special thanks to my assistant Alex who’s filling in for today’s shot. After taking a bite, Alex had the perfect description of this sandwich she said “this is the kind of meal you dream about for days later”. Truer words could not be spoken, trust us, we both sat down and ate this entire sandwich once our lesson was over.

Until Next Time

Definitely try out the recipe at home or head down to Pattern and try the real thing!