Oh man. I am so, so, so, so, so excited for dinner tonight!! I was watching an episode of Rick Bayless' show Mexico One Plate at a Time recently where he was talking about Lucha Libre (the crazy Mexican wrestling with masks) and made a super torta. It looked FANTASTIC. Then it just so happened that the last time I was looking at cookbooks at the library, his Mexican Everyday cookbook was back, so I checked it out and am once again holding it hostage. I was flipping through it and found that the torta he made on that episode was in the cookbook. It also just so happened that I have some chorizo in the freezer I need to be using up, so this worked out great. I've been looking forward to this dinner for a week now. I was going to make it last night, but my aunt called and invited us over for mixed grill. I'm not one to turn down a dinner made by someone else--especially if my uncle is grilling--so I bumped this back to tonight.
Crusty Black Bean Chorizo Subs
aka Tortas de Chorizo y Frijoles Negros
Copyright 2005, Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday
8 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed (about 1 cup)
3-4 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil (divided use)
Two 15-ounce cans black (or other) beans
4 bolillo rolls, crusty French rolls or submarine sandwich rolls (6-7 inches long, 3 inches wide)
6 ounces queso fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 cup Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (recipe to follow)
Set a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add the chorizo. Cook, breaking up the clumps, until browned and thoroughly cooked, about 8-9 minutes. Add 1-2 Tbsp of the oil (depending on how much fat the chorizo has rendered) and the beans. As the beans come to a simmer, mash them to a smooth paste with a Mexican bean masher, old-fashioned potato masher or the back of a large cooking spoon. Cook, stirring nearly constantly, until the consitency of very soft mashed potatoes--expect about 10 minutes after adding the beans. Taste and season with the salt if you think necessary. Keep warm over the lowest heat, covered to keep the beans soft and moist.
Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium. Slice the rolls open. use fingers or a spoon to scrape out some of the soft bread in the center of each half, making a small hollow. Brush the insides with the remainig 2 Tbsp oil, then lay them cut side down on the griddle or skillet to crisp to a rich golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Smear about 1/2 cup of the chorizo-bean mixture over the bottom half of each roll. Top with slices of the cheese and the avocado. Spoon on the salsa or dash on the hot sauce. Set the top of each roll i place, and you're ready to serve.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Copyright 2005, Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday
4 medium (8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Hot green chiles to taste (2 serrano or 1 jalapeno), stemmed and roughly chopped
About 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lay in the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down. When the tomatillos are well browned, 3-4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. The tomatillos should be completely soft.
Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro, and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a coarse puree. Pour into a salsa dish and thin with a little additional water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency.
Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Stir into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 tsp.
Mmmmmmm...I cannot wait for this dinner!!! The chorizo I'm using is bulk chorizo, so I don't need to worry about removing the casing. It's also chicken chorizo, which I'm assuming is slightly healthier. I just started doing Weight Watchers to get rid of this darn baby weight, so I'm all about healthier choices. I'll probably cut back some on the oil, too.
I wasn't really sure what to do for a side, so I looked on RecipeZaar.com and found a potato recipe that sounded pretty good and like it would be a nice accompaniment...Ancho Chile Fries. We'll probably have a salad on the side, too.
Rick Bayless is a god among men...but only in a food/cooking way, not in a blasphemous, breaking-a-commandment way. Oh man...these were so good!!! Super easy to put together, too. I'm so glad there was some left because I've already slated it for lunch today. I didn't put enough of the salsa on mine at first, so I added some more. YUM! The boy didn't really like it, but the baby ate quite a bit of the chorizo/bean mixture. Crazy, huh?! I swear that baby will eat anything. The chorizo wasn't very spicy, otherwise I wouldn't have given it to him. It could have been a little spicier, but that's really my only complaint, and really it was my own doing. I will definitely make these again!!!
Oh, and the salsa was AWESOME!! I'm kicking myself for not having bought any tortilla chips when I went grocery shopping this week. We have to go to Target today, so I'll be sure to pick some up there so I can enjoy every last drop of the tomatillo salsa.