Traditional Cuban sandwiches are an excellent lunch treat but I found the bread to be filling and they are usually made with too much mustard for my liking, and yellow mustard at that.  I wanted to make an on-the-run lunch or late night treat that was packed with flavor but not overly filling so thought tortillas would be a good substitution.  I rarely have the traditional roasted pork sitting around so I replaced that with pepper backed chicken.  If you do not have a Panini press then just cook them on a pan, preferably Teflon.

Makes 8 full or 16 half tortillas


  • 8 medium-sized flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 pound of smoked hame, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 pound of pepper baked chicken or turkey, sliced thin
  • Dijon mustard to taste
  • 1 pound smoked gouda cheese slices, sold at the deli not the cheese counter
  • 8 ounces of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, stems cut out and chopped
  • Dill pickles, sliced thin
  • Optional: 1 large jalapeno, chopped

Making It

  • Turn the Panini press on med-high and make sure it has reached cooking temperature
  • Lay out the 8 tortillas and only on half of each one, layer the ham, chicken or turkey,  gouda and then layer two thinly sliced pickles
  • Lightly brush the mustard on the half of the tortilla with nothing on it
  • Then fold and put in the press for 3-4 minutes, turn 180 degrees half way through if you want the checked marks (this also keeps the grill side of the Panini from burning the sandwich
  • Put the fresh cilantro in your hands and clap, that wakes up the taste, chop it and mix it the sour cream and put in a dipping bowl for the quesadilla



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