Say hello to the Cuban, a take on the always-popular ham and cheese sandwich. Bar hop around Boston and you're sure to find one on the menu somewhere.
And because I have had several requests for a leaner, fat-blasting Cuban sandwich, I went to work. First, I set out to cut fat and calories without sacrificing that bold flavor the Cuban is known for. In place of fattier cuts of meat, I used lean, muscle-building pork tenderloin and uncured, low-sodium ham.
I also used one slice of Swiss cheese (you can use reduced-fat if you'd prefer, just skip the low-fat) and thinly sliced gourmet pickles, which are naturally low in calories but add some bite. Then I traded in the high-carb roll for a high-fiber, low-carb wrap that I grilled Panini style (you can swap it with a gluten-free version too). Finally, a creamy Greek-yogurt-based sauce of apricot, whole grain mustard and cumin brought it all together.
While this recipes has a few processed ingredients (cheese and ham), it will stabilize your blood sugar all the same. Plus it's sinfully delicious and easy to make. I think I nailed it, but I'll let you decide.
VALERIE COGSWELL'S CUBAN SANDWICH
Makes 4 servings
For the pork:
1 lb. pork tenderloin
Kosher or sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
For the sauce (this will yield plenty of leftovers for a great dip or sandwich topping throughout the week):
3/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp all-natural apricot spread (find it in the jelly aisle)
2 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard (the gourmet kind with the big mustard seeds)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
4 high-fiber, low-carbohydrate wraps (about 8 inches in diameter)
4 slices uncured, low-sodium deli ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 whole pickles, sliced paper thin
Fat free cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a sheet pan with tin foil. Season pork on all sides with a little garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and plenty of salt and pepper (adjust seasoning to your tastes). Place seasoned pork on sheet pan and cook for approximately 30 minutes, flipping the pork about halfway through. You want the pork to be slightly pink in the center.
While the pork cooks, combine ingredients for the sauce. Lay out additional ingredients for assembly.
Once pork is removed from the oven and cool enough to handle (let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing), slice as thin as possible with a very sharp knife.
Spread desired amount of sauce on one half of a wrap. Next add a layer of pork, then pickles, ham and cheese. Fold the top of the wrap over so the sandwich is a half-moon shape. Repeat for all 4 sandwiches.
Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Let the pan get hot over medium/high heat. Next (and this is important), place the Cuban sandwich cheese side down into the pan. Cook until wrap is slightly golden brown and cheese is melted. Gently flip the sandwich over and cook for another minute or two until just golden (you don't want to cook the yogurt sauce).
I like to serve this sandwich with a pickle and fresh sliced fruit. Enjoy!