Mexican Heritage Month Guest Post: Our Guest today is Gabriela Zaputovich, author of the gorgeous blog “Gabriela Clavo y Canela”. In this post she prepares the Traditional Mexican Sandwich, or “Torta”, as we call it in my country.
Today I will show you how to make a Traditional Mexican sandwich, or “Torta”, which is a national passion here in México. The “torta” or “lonche” is made of many flavors, or better said, many fillings. Just to mention some of the most common ones: ham and cheese, plain cheese, beef or chicken Milanese, steak, roasted pork leg meat, tamales … etc.
Just to give an example of how exotic tortas can get, I know some people who put Jell-o in the center of the bread! Some others even use bananas, so there is an open mind when making tortas, there are no laws written in stone about them. The possibilities are endless!
In some states, there are some tortas that are typical to the area, like the “Torta de la Barda” (“Sandwich from the Fence”), named so because it was first created and sold in a small torta stand located next to a brick wall at the entrance to the harbor in Tampico, Tamaulipas. You can see the recipe here in Nora’s blog.
I remember 10 years ago, when I got married and came to live here in México, I told my husband that I wanted to eat the famous ham sandwich from the TV show “El Chavo del 8” (a legendary TV classic famous in all of Latin America). Yes, it’s funny, I know, but for us in Paraguay and in neighboring countries, the word “torta” actually means “cake”, a sweet cake, and I was curious to know how a savory ham torta would taste.
So my husband took me to a small torta stand, because in the same way that they sell tacos in street stands here in Mexico they also sell the tortas in torta stands. Anyway, I was finally able to taste the famous “torta de jamón”. And because this was a hole-in-the-wall kind of place in the middle of the street, I got sick! Since then, everything we eat is home made.
I am showing you how to make the most popular torta; this is only to help foreigners, because Mexicans, even children are professionals in making a torta.
1. First, we need to have some refried beans. To do so, mash some cooked beans and fry them in a pan. They need to be mashed first and then fried with some onion, to give them some taste.
2. Now a good bread for a Mexican torta is the french bread, open your bread by making a slit in one of its sides. Spread some mayonnaise in one of the slices and the refried beans on the other. You can find the Mexican Bread recipe HERE.
3. Now place the fillings of your choice, in this case, I used ham and fresh cheese (queso fresco). Add sliced tomatoes, avocado, and pickled jalapeño peppers. (You can get them canned at any Latin store.)
The torta-sandwich pictured above is a Chicken Milanese Torta, with queso fresco and avocado, made with fresh-out-of-the-oven bread.
To remember our childhood and make us laugh a little, “El Chavo del 8” and his famous ham sandwich. Make sure to watch this video and wait for minute 2:28.
By Guest Author: Gabriela Zaputovich A dentist by profession, a housewife and a passionate self-taught cook by choice, she likes to share the recipes and techniques learned by reading books and practicing by herself. She has lived in México City for several years now, but she was born in Paraguay, and lived for several years in Brazil, until she got married and moved to Mexico with her husband. In her blog you will find recipes from these countries. Her Blog “Gabriela, Clavo y Canela” has attained a large number of followers for its wide selection of Latin American recipes, her well put cooking instructions and excellent photography.
I hope you enjoy her blog “Gabriela, Clavo y Canela”, as much as I do.