Two Dueling Sandwiches and One Delicious Drink from Mexico!

The Mexican Torta and Cemita are savory, rich—and  worth ditching your diet for.

Chorizo-potato torta

1            lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced small

5            oz. fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed

1            can (15 oz.) pinto beans with liquid

1            tbsp. vegetable oil, plus more for brushing

4            telera or bolillo rolls* or other large, crusty sandwich rolls

1            avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

8            leaves Romaine lettuce

1            tomato, thinly sliced

8            oz. Oaxaca cheese, shredded

¼            Spanish onion, very thinly sliced

4            pickled jalapeños, sliced into strips

Salt

In small saucepan, cover potatoes with water and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender; drain and set aside. In large skillet, cook chorizo over medium heat, breaking up large clumps and stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes. Add beans and oil and cook 5 minutes, mashing gently with potato masher into chunky consistency. Add potatoes, lower heat and cook until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season mixture with salt, set aside and keep warm. Heat broiler. Split rolls, brush lightly with oil and broil, cut sides up, until light golden brown. On each top half, arrange 1/4 avocado slices, lettuce and tomato. On each bottom half, spread 1/4 of chorizo-potato mixture and add 1/4 of cheese, onion and jalapeño. Press sides together and cut in half. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Chicken milanesa cemita

2            boneless skinless chicken breast halves

¾            cup flour

1            tbsp. chile powder

2            eggs, beaten with 1 tbsp. water

1            cup plain breadcrumbs

4            cemita rolls* or high-quality sesame seed hamburger rolls

13             cup pureed chipotle in adobo

1            avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

8            leaves Romaine lettuce

1            tomato, thinly sliced

½            cup refried black beans

8            ounces shredded Oaxaca cheese

¼            Spanish onion, very thinly sliced

½            cup papalo leaves** or cilantro sprigs

Salt

Vegetable oil, for frying and brushing

Slice one chicken breast almost in half horizontally and open like book. Pound 1/4-inch thick; cut into two pieces. Repeat with second breast and season all with salt. In shallow bowl, whisk together flour and chile powder. Put egg wash and breadcrumbs in two shallow bowls. Dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg wash and coat with breadcrumbs. Heat  1/2 inch vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 pieces chicken and cook until dark golden brown. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Repeat with remaining pieces. Heat broiler. Split rolls, brush lightly with oil and broil, cut sides up, until light golden brown. Spread cut sides with chipotle. On top each half, add 1/4 avocado, lettuce and tomato. On each bottom half, spread 2 tbsp. beans, 1/4 cheese, 1 piece chicken, 1/4 onion and 1/4 papalo. Press sides together and cut in half. Makes 4 sandwiches.

An agua fresca, like this agua de piña, will cool off your taste buds!

Agua de piña

1            ripe pineapple

½            cup sugar, or to taste

Peel, core and cut pineapple into cubes. In blender, puree 1/2 pineapple, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cold water until frothy. Strain into large glass pitcher through fine mesh strainer. Repeat process with remaining pineapple. Add about 8 cups water and more sugar, if desired; mix well. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, until well chilled. Makes about 2 1/2 liters. Note: Measurements and yield are approximate because of variability in pineapple size and sweetness.

 

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