Thomasina Miers’ tasty, tasty torta

Sorry that things have been a bit food-heavy around here lately, but holidays and days off work do tend to result in lots of cooking and consuming round here.

Few things in life make me as happy as a good sandwich and Thomasina Miers’ torta – or Mexican club sandwich – tops the list for me. Chorizo, refried beans, lard-soaked bread… What more could you want? It takes a little while to construct, but not long enough to put you off. It is kind of a beast in terms of  nutrition though, so I tend to restrict my consumption to birthdays and bank holidays – both of which we have this week soooooo….?

In the Mexican Food Made Easy book, Thomasina says;

Mention the word “torta” to anychilango (someone who comes from Mexico City) and you will see a faraway look come over them as they are transported back to the torta stands that line the streets of the capital.

I make a pretty decent torta, but I don’t think I’d enjoy anything more than eating one in Mexico City from a street stand. Mmmm. Here’s what you do;

Thomasina Miers’ torta (the Mexican club sandwich)

Serves 4

2 large, ripe tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Olive oil
300g cooking chorizo
4 ciabatta buns
1 tbsp lard
8 large tbsp refried beans (one million percent worth making your own, recipe here – but if you don’t have time, may I recommend stocking up on these)
1 avocado, mashed with the juice of half a lime
half a red onion, sliced very thinly
1-2 baby gem lettuces
4 very generous tbsp chipotle mayonnaise (I make my own my own by putting chipotle paste in mayo – I know, I’m worthy of Masterchef – but you can buy it here)

1. Slice the tomatoes up and stick them in a dish with salt, pepper, the chilli and some olive oil. I like to rub it all in so that it’s evenly covered.

2. Slice the chorizo into pound-sized chunks and heat them up in a pan – I never add oil or anything when cooking chorizo, the juices are good enough alone. Cook for a few minutes until it’s nice and crispy. I also like to heat the refried beans up at this point if you haven’t just made them from scratch.

3. Scoop the chorizo out and brush both sides of your ciabatta buns with the chorizo fat and a little extra lard. YUM. Grill for a few minutes until they’re crispy too.

4. Smear one half of the bun with refried beans and top with chorizo, avocado, red onion, tomato and lettuce. Doesn’t that already sound like the best thing you’ve ever eaten?

5. SMEAR the other half in the mayonnaise, squidge together, eat.

Thomasina also suggests using chicken, steak, pork or fish instead of chicken – or grilled courgettes, mushrooms and corn fresh from the cob for a veg option.


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