Let’s put something on the table right now, shall we? When it comes to food, I’m weak, and I have no resistance to cravings whatsoever. Like, none. It’s a bit like being pregnant your whole life; the cravings set in, they need to be fulfilled NOW, and they never go away. Story of my life, I swear. I probably get this craving affliction from my dad. Ask him to tell you about the time he was working at a church, and the parish priest was busy making toasted peanut butter sandwiches. Right in front of him. He actually had to leave the church right then and there, so that he could come home and make one for himself. In broad daylight, right smack dab in the middle of the day. No joke.
I guess we come from a long line of cravers. Or weak people. And we don’t resist easily. And you know what? Maybe in a Darwinian sort of way, that’s not a bad thing. Because you gotta admire someone who is persistent enough to seek out those magic ingredients that when combined together, satisfy the craving itch like nothing else. I’m a card carrying member of that club, and suspect I will be for my whole life. There ain’t a whole lot that gets between me and my food.
Today was no different. I was craving a monster sandwich. A monumental hoagie, like the ones Clair Huxtable used to remove from Cliff’s grips at the kitchen table on the Cosby show, because she claimed they weren’t good for him. Man, I needed that sandwich. Cliff’s hoagie. Thick, crusty bread, freshly baked from the oven, stacks of Italian lunch meat, salty tart pickles, and loads of melted cheese. Are you with me here? Have you ever had that itch? Boy, that one needed scratching somethin’ fierce this morning. A quick jaunt to the supermarket yielded the fixin’s I needed to satisfy my urges.
Bakery roll. Check.
Mortadella and ham sliced paper thin. Check.
Pepper Jack cheese, pre-sliced. Check.
Garlic and dill pickle relish. Wha…???
That’s right. Like finding a gold ingot stuck in the mud, I discovered this lovely little gem in the deli department and quickly snapped it up to take home. It’s McClure’s Garlic and Dill Pickle relish, and I couldn’t wait to try it. The ingredients list is pretty uncomplicated: cucumbers, garlic, dill, water, salt and vinegar. I knew this would be just right for my sandwich, and would give my hoagie a Cuban-like twist. Perfect. And at only 3% sodium (because we check our labels here), fat free, and having the batch number and expiry date printed right on the label, you know this stuff is gonna be good, and ain’t bad for you. Condiments for the sandwich gods…thank you.
I wasn’t wrong. This was like dill pickle chips flavour, times ten. Not too tart, not too vinegary, not too salty. It was the Goldilocks of relishes, and it now has found a permanent home in my fridge. If you can’t find this at your supermarket, and you still want to make this sandwich, I would suggest you take your favourite dill pickles, and dice them up finely and layer them on your sandwich like so.
This sandwich presses a lot of buttons for me. In looking up the makings of a classic Cuban sandwich, I read that you need mustard and not mayo, some good pickles, and some ham, pork and Swiss cheese. I subbed the pork for some mortadella (lovely), and some Pepper Jack for the Swiss (equally nice). I layered the butter pretty thickly to compensate for the lack of usually present mayo on all my sandwiches, and just because I love butter. I eat that stuff with a spoon. But only sometimes. It’s sooo good. Ok, I’m getting side-tracked just thinking about butter. Moving on.
Easy to assemble, delicious to devour, ready in minutes. What are you waiting for? Make this for yourself and don’t share. I had a tall cold root beer on the side, and it was just right.
This is a delicious Cuban inspired hoagie, loaded with meat, cheese and pickles. Feel free to double or triple the ingredients list to make as many sandwiches as you like. Serve this to someone and make a new friend. For life.
- 1 hoagie roll
- yellow mustard
- dill pickle relish
- 4 slices of mortadella
- 2 slices of deli ham
- 2 large slices of pepper Jack cheese
- Preheat your broiler.
- Slice your hoagie roll, and butter it generously on both sides.
- Spread some yellow mustard on both sides, and then top with some dill pickle relish on one side.
- Layer the mortadella and ham (feel free to add more slices of meat if you wish).
- Layer the cheese on top of the meat, and broil until the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden. Remove from the oven, and top with the other half of the hoagie roll.
- Slice, and serve right away.