This update on a traditional Cuban sandwich adds a spicy black bean spread and sweet mango, which balances the salty ham. If mango isn't your thing, use low-acid tomatoes.
4 (3-ounce) whole-wheat sub rolls, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli ham
1 peeled mango or 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
How to Make It
Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use.
Combine cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, garlic, and black beans in a food processor; process until almost smooth and spreadable, adding a few drops of water, if necessary. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom halves of the prepared rolls. Layer rolls evenly with ham, mango or tomatoes, and provolone cheese; replace top halves of rolls.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until sandwiches are golden brown (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook). Remove sandwiches from pan; repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 2 sandwiches.
This updated version of Nuevo Cubano is based on a recipe that originally ran in Cooking Light, August 2010. The recipe was retested and updated for Cooking Light Crave!, Oxmoor House, 2013.
This is a delicious sandwich, BUT...I would recommend leaving the garlic out of the bean mixture. I love garlic, but it stood out waaaay too prominently - I could still taste it in my mouth the next evening!! Also, adding pickles onto one of the layers is a nice addition that brings it further in line with a traditional Cuban sandwich.
You are missing out if you don't try the mango! I made some with tomato and some with mango and thought the mangoes were unbelievable in the sandwich! I used regular whole wheat bread and a george foreman grill to make the sandwiches and we loved them!
This sandwich was a big hit with my foodie husband. It was easy to prepare and looked very classy when ready to be served. Agree with the other reviewer that you definitely need to make the sandwich in a skillet and weight it down in order to get the full effect. I used tomatoes instead of mangoes.