My last blog post was Tailgating 101 and I said, when Tailgating, you should represent your Home Team. Since I live in Miami and root for the University of Miami Hurricanes, I tried to think of the most Miami dish imaginable. That was a Cuban Sandwich. And then I thought of the delicious Tailgate Ham and Cheese Sandwiches my sister Kelley has brought to past Tailgates and I decided to try a Mash-Up of those sandwiches and Cuban Sandwiches.
The original Tailgate Ham and Cheese Sliders feature Slider Buns (like Hawaiian or Potato), with a spread of cream cheese inside and topped with a melted butter mixture, which has minced or dried onion, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan or Dijon in it, depending on the recipe. Since I wanted to “Cuban” it up, I made my sammies with Sliced Smoked Ham, Roast Pork Slices, Swiss Cheese, Pickles and Mustard. To keep it more authentic, my topping was just melted, salted butter. I did add Everything Seasoning to the top of the buns, which isn’t authentic, but tastes good and adds some crunch.
I think they turned out great, but with the sweet Hawaiian rolls, it gave it more of a Media Noche vibe. If you wanted to stick with more of a traditional Cuban Sandwich theme, use regular slider rolls. I also found a Mini Cuban Buns, which would be perfect, but I’m not sure how easy they are to find.
I went the extra step and roasted a Pork Loin that had been marinated in homemade Mojo. This ensured a moist and flavorful sliced pork for the sandwiches. Marinate the pork tenderloin overnight in a mixture of 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 3 garlic cloves (minced), 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. If you want to use Mojo (like Badia or Goya) from the grocery store, skip this step. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes, or until internal temp is 145 degrees. Let cool and thinly slice for sandwiches. *Note: I should have sliced mine a little thinner.
The beauty of these sammies is you can assemble them ahead and bake when you’re ready to serve. I made them in a disposable aluminum tray so clean-up was easy at the Tailgate. These sandwiches are delectable; the melty cheese, loads of ham and pork, toasted buttery tops and the acidic kick of the mustard and pickles makes for a delicious bitefull.
I would serve these Mini Cuban Sliders with an avocado and tomato salad and Plantain Chips. Croquettas or Empanadas could be easy appetizers, but I served veggies with Whipped Ricotta Dip. A cold, local Miami Craft Beer, Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke with lime) or Mojito would be perfect drinks to go with and make it a “Mucho” Miami experience. Shout out to the 305!
Super Cuban Tailgate SandwichesCourse: MainCuisine: TailgateDifficulty: Easy
1 package of Mini Sliders, sliced open
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 pound thinly sliced Smoked Ham (like Boars Head)
1 roasted pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
1 pound thinly sliced Swiss Cheese
1/4 stick salted Butter, melted
Everything Bagel Seasoning, optional
- Cut rolls in half. Place bottoms in a 9 x 13 inch aluminum foil tray.
- Place one slice of Swiss cheese on bottom of roll. Top with Smoked Ham Slices.
- Top with slices of Roast Pork and then another layer of Swiss cheese.
- Add hamburger pickles, trying to get in the sandwich circle area.
- Spread yellow mustard on the top of the slider buns and put on top of the sandwich.
- Brush melted butter on top of sandwich tops, making sure it goes into every nook and cranny. Add Everything Seasoning, if desired.
- Place sandwiches in a preheated 350 degree oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
- Remove from oven and either slice or pull apart to enjoy.
- You can make these ahead the night before and put in the oven right before serving.
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