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Mexican Tortas

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If you type the word “Torta” into Pinterest, you’ll see hundreds of beautiful images of cakes. Granted, ‘torta’ means ‘cake’ in Spanish, but add the word “Mexican” in front of “torta” and images of mouth watering sandwiches will appear.

In Mexico, tortas are everywhere.  Imagine the best, most filling taco you’ve ever had, but instead of the filling being wrapped in a tortilla, it’s enclosed in a soft, buttered, and toasted bun.

I first discovered what a torta is by flipping through the cookbook Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales. A torta is most commonly made with a soft and pillowy bun that’s been buttered and panfried until golden and then slathered with thin spread of refried beans.  The meat layer (totally optional) can be anything from sliced hot dog, cold cuts, crumbled chorizo, crispy breaded meat, braised short ribs, shredded pork or beef, pulled roasted chicken – or anything else you can dream up.  Just like a taco, torta’s are piled high with garnishes – typically fresh tomato salsa, pickled onions and jalapeños, queso fresco (a fresh cheese), crema (Mexican sour cream), shredded lettuce or cabbage, cilantro, and avocado.

Mexican Torta on a plate with salsa

Tips for a Torta:

  • Choose a bun that’s on the softer side, you want to the bread to squish around the ingredients.  If the bun is too dense, the ingredients will squeeze out.
  • Eat this sandwich with lots of napkins, they can be messy!
  • You can use a can of refried beans or you can make you own, same goes for salsa.

Here’s a few recipes to get your imagination going and your mouth salivating:

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Torta

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/mushroom-and-goat-cheese-tortas

Breaded Meat Torta

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/marcela-valladolid/mexican-milanese-style-sandwiches-tortas-recipe/index.html

Thomasina Miers Torta

http://www.channel5.com/shows/mexican-food-made-simple/recipes/torta-mexican-club-sandwich

Tortas de Carnitas

http://www.sergetheconcierge.com/2013/01/bread-makes-the-sandwich-roberto-santibanez-torta-de-carnitas-from-nick-malgieri-bread-.html

Grilled Hot Dog Tortas

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Hot-Dog-Tortas-em-Tortas-de-salchicha-em-51138400

The key to a tasty torta is to let your imagination run wild – it can be as simple as beans, cheese, salsa and lettuce to something over the top, messy, and piled high!

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