You know how you have these “food memories” that get stuck in your head and you start obsessing about them? Like a favorite casserole your Momma made when you were a child, or your Aunt’s practically famous chicken salad? I was having one of those moments last week, and it got me thinking.
Let me explain…My paternal grandparents spent many years living in Tampa, FL, and as a result, my Granny Sarah’s favorite sandwich was the Cuban Sandwich. I can still remember her making those once in awhile when we were kids. It was a rare and tasty treat that we all looked forward to.
For the uninitiated, a Cuban sandwich consists of a hoagie roll layered with ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle slices, and mustard that gets pressed until the sandwich is flattened and the cheese gets all melty and nominous. A good friend of mine also happens to be Cuban, and she makes finger sandwiches out of what she calls “Cuban Sandwich Spread” for every party and cookout we have. Everyone goes nuts for them. So I was thinking to myself, “Self? How could I get the TASTE of a Cuban sandwich into a more WLS and pouch-friendly format?”
I played around with Liz’s original recipe, and voila–the following spread was born! I actually made finger sandwiches from this for a bridal shower at work last week and they went over really well. The pic shows the spread on high fiber crackers, topped with squares of Swiss cheese and a dollop of mustard. This is a neat way to serve it at a party or other gathering, particularly if there are fellow Pouchers in the crowd who can’t handle much bread. So go ahead, crank up the Ricky Martin, and get busy making your own taste of Havana.
Jen’s Cuban Sandwich Spread
1 can Lite Spam (yes, Spam! it grinds up more smoothly than regular deli ham. If you are categorically opposed to Spam, by all means use deli ham instead.)
4 heaping tbsp Dill Pickle relish (or chop up whole dill pickles)
2-3 tsp of dill pickle juice (from the relish or pickle jar)