Most people have heard of a Cuban Sandwich and if you have had the good fortune to try an authentic one (without Salami! I’m talking to you Tampa. hehe just kidding) then you know how amazing it is. Ham, pork, swiss cheese, mustard, pickle, and pressed between buttered fresh baked Cuban bread. However, you might not believe me when I say there is an even better sandwich out there that you probably have never heard of….
It translates to The Midnight, because it was served in Havana clubs late at night. It has all the components of the delicious Cuban Sandwich. The one difference is the bread. Instead of being served on Cuban bread, the Medianoche is made using a sweet, egg hoagie style bread called Pan Suave. It tastes very similar to a combination of Hawaiian Bread and Challah. When you butter and press it, it makes this crunchy, caramelized outside crust with a sweet inside that is the perfect compliment to the salty ham and pork, the creamy melted swiss cheese, and the tart pickle and mustard. Seriously, it has it all….sweet, salty, tart, crunchy, flufffy, and creamy. It is truly the best sandwich I have ever had.
Ever since I left Miami, I have always tried to recreate this sandwich. The filling is not a problem since I can find all the ingredients and whenever I make a pork roast I save some just for this sandwich. The bread was little more difficult because it’s impossible to find outside of Cuban neighborhoods, but after a bunch of trial and error I found the closest substitute is a Potato Hoagie with a honey and butter spread. Here is my recipe for my Medianoche that is as close as you can get using ingredients you can find in just about any store.
This sandwich is so good that I crave it all the time. But let’s be honest, who has the time to make a pork roast every time you want a sandwich? That’s why I created this recipe. It subdues my craving for the best sandwich on earth and it’s easy enough to make on a regular basis without having to make a whole pork roast.
Instant Air Fryer Cuban Style Sandwiches
Recipe by Lana Horruitiner-Perez
- 1 pack of 12 Hawaiian Rolls
- 2 Tbl Mustard
- 2 Tbl Mayo
- 10 – 12 thin slices of deli Honey Ham/Serrano Dulce Ham
- 6 slice Swiss Cheese
- 12 sliced round Dill Pickles/Hamburger Pickles
- 3 Tbl Butter, melted
- 1/4 Tbl Adobo Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
8 x 8 Metal Pan and Foil
Cut the whole loaf of Hawaiian Bread Rolls in half. (Don’t cut the rolls into individual pieces just yet.)
Spread about 2 Tbl of Mayo and 2 Tbl of Mustard onto the bottom half of the bread.
**Anyone who has ever had a Medianoche knows it does not traditionally have Mayo. However, I found with this recipe it works. That’s why I call it Cuban “Style”. If you want it more traditional, just leave out the Mayo.**
Fold about 10 slices of Deli Ham in half and lay over the rolls so the entire surface of the rolls are covered as evenly as possible. Lay about 6 slices of Swiss Cheese on top of the Ham so it is even as possible. (If you are using Pork, lay a thin layer of Pork between the Ham and the Cheese.)
Place 12 Pickle Slices spaced out so each Sandwich will have one slice each.
Place the top half of the Hawaiian rolls back and then carefully slice the rolls into individual sandwiches. It’s best to use a serrated knife.
Spray the 8 x 8 square metal baking dish with a light layer of PAM. Place the sandwiches into the baking dish. You will need to squeeze them in and that’s OK. Set aside.
**You will notice one sandwich is missing in my picture. My son stole one before I baked them, lol.**
In a small bowl, add 3 Tbl Butter and microwave for about 45 secs until melted (or melt in a pan and then poor into the bowl). Add 1/4 Tbl Adobo Seasoning and 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce and mix in.
**Yes I know Worcestershire Sauce is definitely not authentic in a Cuban sandwich. Because you’re not pressing the sandwich and getting the crispy caramelization, this adds that flavor. You can leave it out though.**
Either spoon or brush the Butter Seasoning Mix onto the sandwiches. Cover the pan with foil and set it aside.
Baking in Omni/Omni Plus
Place the Baking Rack in the lower position. Preheat the Omni/Omni Plus by pressing “BAKE” function and setting the Temp to 325°F and the Time to 6 mins. Make sure the Convection is set to “LO”.
Once the display says to “ADD FOOD”, place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 6 mins.
When it’s done cooking, remove the foil and reset the Omni/Omni Plus for another 3 minutes and Press “START”. Check the Sliders at about 2 minutes to make sure they aren’t over browning and remove before it gets too browned.
Baking in Vortex Plus
Place the Baking Rack upside down on the bottom of the Vortex Plus. Preheat the Vortex Plus by pressing “BAKE” function and setting the Temp to 325°F and the Time to 6 mins.
Once the display says to “ADD FOOD”, place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 6 mins.When it’s done cooking, remove the foil and reset the Vortex Plus for another 3 minutes and Press “START”. Check the Sliders at about 2 minutes to make sure they aren’t over browning and remove before it gets too browned.
Serve warm. Buen Provecho!