Smoked ham and pork tenderloin together on low carb, gluten-free sandwich bread. This post is sponsored by Smithfield.
My husband is a sandwich guy; sandwiches are and always have been his go-to food. Back when I first met him, he used to eat 3 sandwiches for lunch every day. Mind you, this was when he was in his 20s, his metabolism was revved up and his job as an archaeologist kept him physically active all day long. Still, that floors me. 3 whole sandwiches. Even at my metabolic peak, I could hardly make it through one whole sandwich. And if I did, I’d be full all day and have no room for all the other yummy things I want to eat. Don’t get me wrong, sandwiches can be might tasty and hot, pressed sandwiches are especially tasty. Gooey, melting cheese on top of meats and veggies and other good fillings, all pressed into a golden brown deliciousness. Okay, maybe there is something to this sandwich thing after all.
Ever since I developed my own low carb panini bread, sandwiches are a little more accessible to me. It’s a great basic bread that stands up well to the fillings and holds together when cooked and pressed. When we do make sandwiches, we typically make a lot in one go and keep the leftovers in the fridge to reheat for an easy meal. My husband rejoices when I make the panini bread, because then he can indulge in his beloved sandwiches without having me give him the oh-think-of-all-those-carbs-you’re-eating look.
So when Smithfield asked me to develop a recipe using one of their marinated pork tenderloins, I knew almost instantly that they’d make great sandwiches. They sent three flavours to try: Garlic & Herb, Rosemary & Olive Oil and Portobello Mushroom. All of them were very good, but I found the Portobello Mushroom to be the most interesting flavor. They cook easily and quickly, making them a great weeknight meal. And perhaps contrary to what you’ve heard about pork, you want to make sure to cook it so that there is still a little pink in the middle and it registers at about 145F. Any more and you lose the juiciness of the tenderloin.
Cubanos are wonderfully flavourful sandwiches, piled with sliced pork loin, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles, and are a perfect use for any leftover pork tenderloin. I found the recipes out there split between yellow mustard and mayo as the main condiment. I decided to go rogue and do Dijon mustard because I like it better, and I mixed it with some mayonnaise as well. I happened to actually still have some leftover Smithfield cooked ham in my freezer, and its wonderful smoky flavour was ideal for the Cubanos. Some spicy dill pickles and melty Swiss cheese and my husband was in sandwich heaven. The kids and I loved them too!
This recipe makes a lot of sandwiches. Feel free to cut both the panini bread recipe and the sandwich recipe in half, if you don’t want lots of leftovers.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Smithfield. As always, all opinions, thoughts, recipes, photography, random tangents and incoherent ramblings are my own.
Pressed Cubano Sandwiches – Low Carb and Gluten-Free
- 1 recipe low carb Panini bread
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 3/4 lb thinly sliced cooked ham
- 3/4 lb thinly sliced cooked Smithfield pork tenderloin
- Thinly sliced dill pickles
- 1/2 lb sliced Swiss cheese
- 2 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil for panini press
- Preheat panini press to medium high.
- Cut panini bread into 4 inch squares and then cut each square horizontally through the middle for two square slices.
- In a small bowl, mix mustard and mayonnaise together. Spread once slice of each sandwich square with the mixture.
- Divide sliced ham and sliced pork tenderloin between sandwich squares. Top with pickles and Swiss cheese.
- Brush panini press with melted butter or oil. Place as many sandwiches as will fit onto press and close lid. Cook until bread is golden brown and has grill marks and cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Repeat with remaining sandwiches.