Monday, April 12, 2010

Tortas Cubana

I've been watching too much Rick Bayless again. Last weekend, I watched him do something amazing - like always....but this one I might be able to replicate without spending days traveling to Mexico City (which I would love to do, but my budget certainly doesn't approve right now) and countless hours in kitchen prep (which sounds a hint on the tedious side, okay, more than a hint).

he was making tortas, a sandwich made on bolio bread (similar to half a loaf of crusty, French bread), that has been hollowed out for the filling of the sandwich. While he showed several variations on the filling, the Torta Cubana spoke to my soul. Filled with carnitas (hey, I can make that!), topped with ham (just bought some the day before), and Oaxacan cheese (I'll substitute Quesadilla cheese - hey, sometimes you have to work with what you've got), and topped with slices of avocado and mayo (got tons of that in the pantry) - it looks like an absolute dream.

Here's my take on Rick Bayless' Torta Cubana:

1/2 lb. carnitas ($.50)
2 small limes ($.15)
salt ($.05)
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided ($.05)
6 slices deli ham ($.30)
4 slices quesadilla cheese (or your favorite mild white cheese) ($.20)
2 bolio rolls (they're $.25 each)
4 T. mayo (free after coupons)
1/2 avocado, sliced thin ($.50)

In a small, nonstick pan, add 1/2 tsp. oil, carnitas, a pinch of salt and the juice of 2 limes. Cook over medium high til meat is lightly crisped at the edges. Using a wooden spoon or utensil, lightly chop meat to bite sized chunks.

Cut bolio's in half length-wise. Hollow out the center of the top half of the bolio, brush crusty outside with oil, spread mayo in the hollowed out top, and to the bottom add carnitas, ham, top with cheese and grill for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat, until cheese is melted. Top with avocado, then add top half to the bottom half. Serve with chips and salsa/guacamole.

Yields = 2 sammies
Cost: $2.25 or $1.13 per sammie


  1. Hi! I'm Katia! I don't know how I find your blog but I was reading your profile and your film are the same for me, weird! I'm Italian and I love cooking and porbably I'll follow your blog I would like to learn some American dish :-) bye!

  2. This looks great, I always love how you break it down. You Rock!!

  3. Hi Kat - hope to see ya again soon!

    Thanks Alexis!