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John David Finley: What makes Cuban sliders 'Cuban?'

John David Finley: What makes Cuban sliders 'Cuban?'

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What makes Cuban sliders “Cuban?” Answer: I don’t know, but this ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickle sandwich on a slider bun topped with a Dijon mustard spread will certainly team up with the World Series. A glass of Gewürztraminer wouldn’t hurt, either!


24 Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls

1 package of sliced ham

1 package of 8 slices of Swiss cheese

dill pickles

Dijon spread

2Tbl minced onion

1 stick of butter, melted

2Tbl Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Grease 9-by-13 baking pan.

Cut the Hawaiian rolls in half, removing the top and placing the bottom of the rolls in the baking pan. Layer the meat, cheese and pickles.

Whisk together the butter and the Dijon mustard. Add in the minced onion and stir.

With a knife, spread the Dijon mixture on the tops, then place the tops on each slider.

Cover the sliders with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the rolls are a toasted brown.

Cut the sliders in half if you like and remove from the baking pan.

Ham, Swiss cheese and Dijon mustard has the name Gewürztraminer written all over it!

Pair this with Lucas & Lewellen’s 2018 Santa Barbara County Gewürztraminer. Made from grapes carefully tended in a small section of their Los Alamos vineyard in Santa Barbara County, (Los Alamos Ranch 2 Block 5) this Gewurztraminer comes from old vines recently grafted to the variety. This vineyard produces grapes with the elegance, balance and intrigue suitable for making this dry, aromatic wine with great depth. The hand-harvested grapes for this Gewürztraminer, farmed using sustainable practices in their Los Alamos Vineyard, create a brilliant wine that is crisp and delicate emitting distinct aromas of flowers: rose petals, lavender, gardenia and jasmine. The perfume of this wine is deepened by notes of sandalwood, nutmeg and lemon.

Or try Santa Barbara Winery’s 2017 Aliso Canyon Gewürztraminer. Bruce McGuire blends grapes from the Alisos Vineyard and the Curtis Vineyard to create their Gewürztraminer. Located in the Highlands above Los Alamos, Alisos Vineyard has dedicated a portion of their vineyard to the aromatic grape, Gewürztraminer. This vineyard benefits from a cool climate and well-drained soil that help retain the spicy aromatics. This wine was made in the traditional Alsatian method, fermented to dryness.

The 2017 Gewürztraminer is pale lemon in color with aromas of apricot, lemon peel, and lychee. The lychee aroma continues across the palate followed by ripe apricot and crushed limestone. Medium-bodied with plenty of acidity, this wine finishes smooth and clean, leaving you chasing the next sip. Gold Medal 2019 San Diego International Wine and Spirits Challenge — 90 points. Gold Medal 2019 Monterey International Wine Competition — 90 points. Enjoy!

John David Finley is a free-lance writer and author of the cookbook, Sacred Meals from our Family Table, which features Santa Barbara County wines. He can be reached at


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