Pati's Mexican Table - A Taste of Mazatlan (805)
Makes 4 tortas
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- A splash of milk
- 2 cups crushed butter crackers
- 8 to 10 dried chiltepín chiles, crushed (or substitute 3 to 4 chiles de árbol)
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cups grated Oaxaca cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
- 4 bolillo or telera rolls, split in half with insides scooped out
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 batch Matador Guacamole
- 1/4 cup soy and lime mixture from the Matador Guacamole
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1/2-inch of vegetable oil and heat until very hot but not smoking, for at least 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a breading station using three shallow dishes: place the flour in one, whisk the eggs with a splash of milk in another, and mix the cracker crumbs with salt, pepper and the crushed chiles in the third one. One by one, dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then pass through the egg mixture, and then coat well with the cracker crumbs mixture, pressing it onto the chicken as you do. Place them on a baking sheet and continue with the remaining chicken.
Fry the chicken breasts in the heated oil one or two at a time, making sure the pan is not over crowded, for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate or rack and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise with Oaxaca and Cotija cheeses.
To build the torta, place the split bread rolls on a baking sheet. Spread the cheese and mayonnaise mixture on the split sides of the rolls. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and melted, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Toss the arugula with 1/4 cup of the soy and lime mixture from the Matador Guacamole. Top the bottom half rolls, with the cheese already melted on them, with the chicken, Matador Guacamole, and the dressed arugula. Cover with the top half of the rolls.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 jalapeño chiles
- 4 scallions
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 ripe avocados, halved, meat scooped out and diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
Char the jalapeños and scallions on a preheated comal or skillet over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, flipping often, until completely charred, wrinkled and softened. You can also do this under the broiler.
Once nicely softened and charred, slice the jalapeños and scallions and place in a medium bowl with the soy sauce and lime juice. Stir and let marinate for at least 10 minutes, this makes for matador chiles or chiles toreados.
In a medium bowl or in a molcajete, mash the avocados. Mix in the matador chiles, scallions, 1/4 cup of the soy and lime mixture (reserve the remaining 1/4 cup for the milanesa torta if making), and the cilantro.
Makes 2 pies
I NGREDIENTS For the crust:
- 3 1/3 cups (about 10 ounce) crumbled Maria cookies
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
For the filling:
- 1 envelope (about 7 grams or .25 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 pound (about 2 cups) cream cheese
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups fresh guava, cleaned and diced
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
- Cajeta or dulce de leche, homemade or store-bought
TO PREPARE To make the crust:
Set rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
Place the crumbled cookies in a medium bowl. Melt the butter over low heat, pour over the crumbled cookies, and mix well. Split the mixture between two pie molds and press into the bottom and sides of the molds to form a crust. Bake for 18 minutes until set and golden, then remove from oven and let cool.
To make the filling:
In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Let it puff up and rehydrate, then mix until diluted. If the gelatin won’t dissolve completely, you may want to place over a water bath for a minute or two.
Fit a mixer with the whisk attachment and whip the cream cheese on medium speed for a couple minutes to soften. Incorporate the heavy whipping cream and sugar, continue beating until well mixed and it holds steady and hard peaks, as if you were making whipped cream, being careful not to over beat.
Reduce speed to low, add the rehydrated gelatin and mix just until it is all incorporated, puffed up and uniform.
Turn out into the cooled pie crusts and chill for at least an hour.
To make the topping:
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over medium heat, once it comes to a simmer, cook for 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves, making a simple syrup. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place the guava in a bowl, pour the cooled simple syrup over it, and mix well. Strain the guava in a colander for a few minutes to drain off excess simple syrup.
Top the chilled pies with the guava, sprinkle pecans all around, and drizzle with cajeta.