“Mom! What’s for dinner?” “I’m working. Make a sandwich.”
“Not sandwiches again!!” “It’s that or go hungry.”
The past two months I have been working as much as I possibly can because my husband lost his job and bills don’t stop just because your income does.
On top of all the extra work, my 16 year old is in duel enrollment (taking both high school and college courses) so I have to drive her to the college every Tuesday and Thursday night. Because I’m not available as much as usual, my girls have had to become a lot more self-sufficient.
The bulk of our groceries this month have been cold cuts and bread. The girls have been eating so many cold sandwiches in fact, that when I brought home $5 Fav pizzas from Papa Murphy’s one of them said “Oh YAY! We’re having a hot meal for once!”. 🙁
But the sandwiches I’m going to share with you today are not the ham and Swiss on whole wheat they have been living on the past few weeks.
These sandwiches are special. One is super quick and easy and the other takes a little prep work, but it’s so worth the effort.
This meatball sub is so simple to prepare even my youngest (9 years old) can make it on her own. She just pops a few meatballs in the microwave and in a few minutes she has a delicious hot dinner. (She has been known to eat this for breakfast, too!)
All the girls LOVE making their own sandwich, customizing it to their tastes. Some like mozzarella on it, some provolone. One doesn’t like cheese on her sandwiches at all (she also doesn’t like chocolate! If she didn’t look just like me I’d think she was switched at birth!).
For this delicious creation, all you need are some frozen meatballs, your favorite pasta sauce, provolone (or whatever cheese you prefer), and bakery rolls. I always keep these ingredients on hand. It’s great to have them in your freezer for that night when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, but you really want a hot meal everyone will eat. (Spaghetti and meatballs is always a hit!)
This next sandwich is one of my most favorite, next to my Inside Out Grilled Cheese.
I’d never tried a Cuban sandwich before I ran across this recipe from Saveur for a medianoche sandwich. It’s nearly identical to a Cuban except you make it with a sweet egg bread (I used challah).
The medianoche requires a little prep-work, but it’s OH SOOOO worth it!
My kids were hesitant to try the medianoche the first time I made it. But once they saw the pure delight on my face when I tried it, they all lined up to get a taste, too. It is now one of the girls most requested meals.
"A medianoche (literally "middle of the night") is the kind of sandwich you eat after hours of partying in Miami's Cuban dance clubs. With roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles, it's almost identical to a Cuban sandwich, save for the bread, a sweet egg loaf that's similar to challah. The extra richness settles the stomach just a bit more, and it develops a wonderful crust when you toast it." - Farideh Sadeghin
- 1 lb. pork loin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 loaf challah bread
- 1/2 cup yellow mustard
- 1 lb. sliced deli ham
- sliced swiss cheese
- dill pickles
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Season pork with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place on a roasting tray and roast until a thermometer inserted reads 145 degrees--in my oven it was about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board to rest, about 15 minutes.
- Thinly slice the pork (I used my electric knife, made things much easier).
- Halve the challah bread lengthwise, then cut into 4-6 large wedges (depending on your size preference).
- Spread mustard on each wedge of challah.
- Divide the ham, pork, cheese, and pickles evenly among sandwiches.
- Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add sandwich to the pan and press down on the sandwich with a cast iron skillet or other pan, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes (or cook on a panini press).
- Flip the sandwich over, press with the skillet, and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes more.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cut to serve.
Actually, I’m pretty proud of my girls because they have really taken over making most dinners now. Pasta, salads, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, and yes, lots of sandwiches.