The Cheese Layering Tip To Keep In Mind When Building A Cuban Sandwich

stacked cuban sandwich halves
stacked cuban sandwich halves - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Rich, colorful, and packed with mouthwatering flavor, Cuban sandwiches are true works of art. While the ingredients can vary a bit by recipe, you'll need these basics to make your sandwich a Cuban one: roast pork, ham, pickles, mustard, and Swiss cheese. Most of the focus is on the first four ingredients -- after all, marinating the pork in an array of tasty juices and spices can take up to eight hours, and pickles are what make the meal pop. It's also a good idea to use the right type of bread for a perfect Cuban sandwich since a loaf of Pan Cubano is traditional.

Still, we often overlook the importance of deploying the cheese correctly. But if you play your cards right, you'll end up with a compact sandwich that's easy to eat instead of a messy compilation that falls apart in your hands. You'll just need to place your cheese as the first layer on both sides of the bread. That way, when it melts as you press your panini, it will seal in all of the other ingredients to hold everything in your sandwich in place. This works because as this type of cheese heats up, the ties holding together its casein proteins break down, allowing the once-stiff slices to seep into the rest of your sandwich and stick to the other ingredients. Plus, due to the high fat content of Swiss, it's a prime candidate for swift melting.

Read more: 26 Best Toppings To Add To Your Chicken Sandwich

Press Your Cuban Sandwich Hard Enough To Glue Everything Together

hands holding cuban sandwich
hands holding cuban sandwich - Maridav/Shutterstock

When it comes to layering the fillings of your Cuban sandwich, you'll want to go in this order: mustard on each sandwich half, followed by Swiss cheese on each half, then roast pork, pickles, and ham in the middle. Since the pickles are the most slippery ingredient here, squeezing them between the meat, cheese, and spread ensures they stick in place as much as possible while you cook and eat. Before you begin layering, be sure to spread each outside half of the bread with butter (or mayo to switch things up a bit), which will result in golden, crispy slices in your final product.

It shouldn't take long for your cheese to melt once you've got your creation on a panini press -- only about five minutes total. The key to a tasty Cuban sandwich, and one that allows the Swiss to stick everything together, is to press the top of your device down pretty aggressively — but make sure you're not pushing so intensely that your bread gets mushy. If you don't own a panini press, you can also cook up your sandwich in a cast iron skillet, using a lid or another pan to smush down the top. Your fillings should be glued into your Cuban once the Swiss melts.

Read the original article on Tasting Table