ReubenCuban-062Working with the amazing array of IMUSA products has been anything but work. I mean, who wouldn’t love a job that “requires” you to mess around in the kitchen developing recipes for their incredible selection of Latin kitchenware?  That’s probably what I would be doing anyway! (But that’s just between you and me, okay?)  One of my personal favorites to experiment with was their panini press. Because developing a Latin inspired recipe for this sandwich lover’s essential transported me back… to Miami Beach.

Having recently been at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, the aromas of Cuban sandwiches wafting down Ocean Drive (and the taste of them as I inhaled them greedily a few minutes later) were still fresh in my mind. And to give this Latin classic a Duran-ian twist, I simply channeled my undying love for a sandwich revered by many of Miami Beach’s retirees: The Rueben. And with that, my Rueben Cubano was born!

To bring my creation to life, I had to walk a fine line—making sure I didn’t rob the sandwich of its quintessential Cuban-ity. That meant leaving the Cubano’s classic roast pork and ham alone. And since both sandwiches share Swiss cheese, my first move was to replace the Cubano’s sliced pickles with the Reuben’s signature sauerkraut. The added tang of the sauerkraut was a revelation, and I kept some of that “pickle crunch” from the Thousand Island dressing that replaced the yellow mustard. Next, since the Cubano’s sweet, soft Pan de Medianoche is not easy to find in areas without a large Latin population—I experimented, and discovered an excellent, easy-to-find alternative: the hot dog bun!  With the smooth, nonstick surface of the quick-heating IMUSA panini press doing the heavy lifting, the bun crisped to perfection—while inside, each ingredient mingled and melded into an unexpected taste sensation! Even though it’s relatively smaller from the classic bread, it’s easier to press and gives you the chance to eat two sandwiches at once!

With a little adjustment of ingredients and a marvelously quick-heating IMUSA Panini press, I was ready to show off my masterful Reuben Cuban Sandwich to the rest of the world.