Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tortas Mexicanas


Tortas

Tortas are Mexican sandwiches made on crusty rolls called bolilos. They are made with a variety of fillings. From the most simple queso and aguacate (cheese and avocados)to the complex Cubana (made with a variety of meats and cheeses including milanesa). There are also regional specialties like las Guacamayas... which are a specialty in the state of Guanajuato... they are basically pork rinds on a roll with salsa. Men walk around in the plazas carrying a basket of bread, a side holster with salsa, and a big pig skin strapped to their backs and make a sandwich for you on the spot. Other popular toppings are a variety of deli meats including salchicha (hot dog), al pastor (marinated pork), Milanesa (breaded steak or chicken), chile rellenos (stuffed peppers) and carnitas (fried pork). Tortas are great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner... Here are a few recipes...

Here is the basic recipe:
2 bolillos cut in half lengthwise
Condiments of your choice: mustard, mayo, aioli, salsa...etc...
sliced jalapenos
1/2 of an avocado
cheese
tomato slices
onion slice
Other additions of you choice...eggs, meat, tuna salad, sauteed vegetables, milanesa and beans.

Place tomato and onion slices on the bottom bun and top with cheese. Toast the bread in an oven until the cheese melts. Add jalapenos and/or salsa. Generously smear the top bun with mustard or mayo and spread a portion of each avocado on each top bun as well. You can also add lettuce or any other filling you desire... Sometimes we add a fried or scrambled egg... or some sauteed peppers, onion and garlic... Meats, tuna salad, or even some refried beans also make excellent addition... Use your imagination.

Milanesa

1 thinly pounded piece of steak or chicken for every sandwich
Bread crumbs
1-2 eggs
oil for frying

Dip meat in eggs and then in bread crumbs. Coat well and then fry in oil until golden brown and cooked through. Place on paper towel to drain off excessive oil.

The Best Damn Egg Salad

I had this egg salad often before I moved to Mexico... I think that it would make an excellent torta filling.

2 eggs, boiled salt and pepper to taste
1 green onion, finely chopped basil to taste
1/4-1/2 tomato, diced olive oil

Chop up eggs and add the onion and tomato. Season to taste and drizzle with olive oil. Serve on toast with a small amount of spicy mustard. Makes two large open-faced sandwiches.

Tuna Fish Cerviche Style

This a great change of pace from tuna with mayo. My friend Monica made it for me once. That was the first time I actually ate tuna from a can and enjoyed it.

Mix one can of tuna with ½ small diced tomato, a handful of diced red onion, fresh cilantro to taste, and the juice of ½ a lime. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve on crunchy bread with lettuce and tomatoes. Top with a dash of vinaigrette if desired.

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