Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hungry Texan Tortas

This past Saturday I was craving a torta from a local taqueria. It was the first time in a while I knew exactly what I wanted to eat. I knew I didn't feel like cooking either. Usually Hank and I banter back and forth, with 'what do you wants' and 'I dunnos' until we (4 times out of 5) decide on something Mexican.
So, all geared up for fresh, yummy tortas and a Mexican Coca Cola, we headed out to pickup lunch. But unfortunately when we got there the placed was closed. At 2. On a Saturday. We were seriously bummed.
Undeterred (and hungry), I had Hank swing me by the grocery for some fresh bolillos. After some quick chopping and digging in the fridge, lunch was ready. And pretty delicious too.

(printable recipe)

bolillos (hoagie sandwich rolls or french bread will work)
mexican crema or mayonaisse
pickled jalapenos
queso fresco
refried beans
ham, or milanesa*

Split the bolillos and toast them if you like. Slather with mayonaisse and spread a layer of warm refried beans on the bottom. I had leftover black bean dip that was really tasty with these.
Pile on the ham, lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado, jalapenos, and queso fresco. Smash the sandwich closed and stuff your face. Serve with lots of these.

Tortas are extremely adaptable to suit different tastes and use up what you have on hand. I made Hank's sandwich with the last of some picadillo we had in the fridge. I made sure mine had plenty of onion - use what you like! Try the milanesa version, use chicken or even grilled shrimp.

If you'd like some extra heat or just want to spice things up a little make a special mayonaisse by combining 1 chipotle pepper with 1 c mayo. Puree until smooth and slather on the bolillos. It'll give it some zip!

*For the Milanesa version:
veal cutlet, or small piece of steak (pound thin with meat hammer)
dry breadcrumbs (ground fine)
salt & pepper

Dredge the cutlet in milk, then in seasoned breadcrumbs, and press them to adhere to the meat. Pan fry in oil. Layer in the torta with other ingredients.

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