Sandwich #114–“Cinco de Mayo-ish” Mexican Torta

By 300 Sandwiches

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DSC_0680 It was Cinco de Mayo over the weekend. For us, it’s an legitimate excuse to drink margaritas—unlike the less logical ones, like “oh we’re out of wine, so we have to drink something else, preferably with tequila.”

Margaritas taste best with Mexican food. But as reminded by many of my readers and family members and co-workers and anyone else paying attention to this blog, a taco does not constitute a sandwich.

A torta, however, is Mexican sandwich. A Latin hoagie, if you will, packed with whatever meat and cheese is handy. If there’s black beans and salsa, even better. Late afternoon, when E is nice and hungry and I had finished my long training run, was the ideal time para comer.

I wanted to add avocados to the sandwich. Problem is, they’re on E’s forbidden foods list. I thought if I snuck in the avocados under a heap of lettuce and sauteed onions—sorta like when you sneak in medicine to a dog’s food by stuffing it in peanut butter—E wouldn’t notice. I grabbed a few and stuck them in my basket.

“What are you going to do with those?” E whined. Caught.
“Can you just like avocadoes?” I asked. “What if I make a guacamole spread for the sandwich. Will you eat that?”
He sighed. “Yes. But let’s add mango to make it a bit sweeter. Otherwise it’s just, blech.”

We added mango to the guac, which ended up having more mango than avocados. Meat, lettuce, cheese. Heat. Serve.

It was a messy, oversized, over powering sandwich. The Mexican roll used for this thing was as big as my head. I couldn’t even get the panini press down all the way to toast the bread! But it was tasty, and the cheese melting with the meat and the guac made it muy sabroso. I’ve never been to Mexico, but if the have these on every street corner, it’s worth visiting.

“Maybe a vacation for us?” I asked.
“Maybe,” E said. “Now where’s my margarita?”

Yeah, like I wouldn’t notice if you tried to sneak guacamole in my sandwich like you do to your dog with a heartworm pill. Not very sneaky at all. Now, guacamole is potentially tasty. Mango guacamole is tastier, especially with a little habaƱero. But something about the texture of avocado on its own is just weird to me. I always remove it from sushi rolls, in a manner similar to how I treat raw tomatoes (on bruschetta, peeled cored and deseeded it’s lovely, but on a sandwich I have to remove it).
1 tomato, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 lime, quartered
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 pound skirt steak
1/4 cup cheese (I used shredded fontina and asiago, but you might want a Mexican cheese, like cotija)
1 head lettuce
1 Mexican roll
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste and season meat

Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper to season, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Then make your guacamole:
In a small bowl add chopped avocado, tomato, mango, in a bowl. Add chopped cilantro. Squeeze lime wedges over top. Stir with fork frequently smashing the pits of guacamole as soon as possible. Set aside.
Brown steak over medium heat with a smidge of olive oil, about 3 minutes each side. Set aside on a small plate.
Drizzle additional olive oil on top of roll. Scoop out guac mix on top of one inside of break. Then layer on lettuce, and then layer on cheese on the steak. Top with other slice of bread and place in panini press long enough for cheese to melt and bread toast golden brown. Remove when done, cut in half and serve. One sandwich can feed two people—or one very hungry boyfriend.

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