Tortas, telera, and salad, oh my!

As much as I love tacos, not every single #mexicanmay meal needs to be made with a tortilla. But another carby base is certainly worthy, and that is the telera roll, the base of a torta sandwich!  A torta is really just an even messier taco, served on bread instead of a tortilla.  And much like a taco, the options for fillings are endless.

Mexican torta on homemade telera, with pork carnitas, refried pinto beans, roasted tomatillo salsa, avocado, and cheese.

A telera roll is similar to a French roll, and is a very basic yeast dough.  While the local grocery store sells telera rolls individually, pretty inexpensively, but why not try making my own?  The dough came together very easily, with fairly short rise, rest, and bake time. All in all, I’d just buy them next time, but I wanted to try! The recipe came from my Nopalito cookbook.

To assembly my torta:

  • Pork carnitas from Carlsbad Cravings. While traditional pork carnitas would be cooked in lard, I opt for this healthier crockpot version. I make this pork almost monthly and use the extra for a variety of dishes. MEAL PREP HACK ALERT – the leftovers freeze well! The shredded meat is fantastic for tacos, quesadillas, pizza, sandwiches, or nachos. Make a large pork roast and you can knock out the protein prep for at least a few meals!
  • Homemade telera roll, split in half and lightly toasted under the broiler
  • Homemade refried pinto beans, from Nopalito, known as frijoles refritos
  • Shredded queso quesadilla cheese – or any shredded Mexican blend
  • Roasted tomatillo salsa, also from the Nopalito cookbook. I roasted onion & tomatillos very briefly, and blended with cilantro, lime & salt in the food processor. You could use any premade salsa!
  • Avocado (always!!!)

This sandwich was ridiculously difficult to eat, best done in the privacy of your own home, where you can let the salsa dribble down your chin.

On the healthier, or less carby side, one of my absolute favorite salads is Sally’s Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad. This salad can be made in many different ways to suit your tastes. Or what’s in your fridge. I often make this salad for lunches – chopping all of my ingredients once, mixing the creamy lime dressing, and then assembling the salad each day.

For meat, I use shredded pork (like leftover carnitas!) or chicken, or my chopped fajita chicken, or even a rotisserie chicken. Steak would be fantastic as well. Black or pinto beans work, although I prefer black beans. Shredded cheese or a sprinkle of cotija. Or both! I think it’s this salad that has me appreciating the value of a chopped red onion on a salad. And, always avocado.

Most importantly, the dressing pulls the entire thing together. Made with Greek yogurt, the dressing is thick and creamy and tastes rich. Lime juice and a little olive oil help the dressing coat each piece of the salad! I usually use one single serving container of Greek yogurt, plus olive oil, garlic, lime, honey, and taco seasoning. Topping the salad with chips is technically optional, but why wouldn’t you? Ok in this picture, I skipped the chips and had a leftover taquito.

This salad may or may not appear in a future month that may or may not be dedicated to salads! But enough of the healthy stuff, there are so many more Mexican treats to come yet this month!

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