I could not find Portuguese rolls in the store, so I went with wheat Hawaiian rolls, since they're a little sweet like the Portuguese rolls. Since they were mini's, I made Cubanitos. We don't have a panini press, so I made these in my big skillet and pressed them with a cookie sheet with the tea kettle on top. Not the most attractive cooking method, but very effective!
As a side, I made fried plantains, a traditional side with Cubans, and a favorite in Miami. I love plantains, they're sort of like a sweet potato, but a bit more grainy in texture. They are a little sweet, but not as sweet as you'd think because they look like a banana!
I sprinkled mine with Cayenne and salt with no sauce so we could really taste the plantains. I read that a good way to drain them is on paper grocery bags, which did work very well! I used EVOO for health reasons, which did give them an added flavor, but peanut or canola oil can be substituted.
Cubanitos and Tostones
12 King's Hawaiian Bread Honey Wheat rolls
Whole grain mustard
1/2 lb. honey ham, shaved (folded to fit bread)
1/4 lb. swiss cheese, sliced (cut into squares to fit bread)
24 dill pickle chips
2 green plantains
EVOO (or a light colored oil)
Preheat a panini press or skillet to medium.
Bring 1/2" of oil to medium high heat.
Slice rolls, spread mustard over tops and bottoms.
Place a piece of swiss on the bottom, then a piece of ham, another piece of swiss, 2 pickle chips, then top with the bun.
Construct all sandwiches.
Peel plantains, cut in 1" pieces on a bias. Gently place in the oil.
Place cubanitos on the skillet, place a sheet pan on top, then the tea kettle or another heavy object.
Flip plantains, cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side, place on paper grocery bags to drain.
Let the plantains sit for 5 minutes, then use a plate and press them to 1/4"
Place back in the oil.
Flip plantains. When golden brown on both sides, remove and drain again, dust with cayenne and salt.
Plate cubanitos and tostones, serve immediately.