I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just crossed the border into Tijuana, Mexico with my Dad (which was a rare occasion, since I hardly ever spent time with him outside of the house). He was determined to take me on an adventure and show me all the customs of TJ. From the stories that my Dad shared, TJ was a place with no rules, a grown-up fun house where you could take your shoes off and run through the dirt and no one would say anything or look twice. He also had a big love for the food and was hard set on taking me to his favorite torta (sandwich) shop. My Dad has always loved tortas and this is one thing I know for sure about him so I wasn’t surprised when this was the first thing he had on our agenda.
We drove into a parking garage and drove down into the underground spiral. To my surprise there was a little shop deep at the bottom of this parking garage. We parked the car and started to walk toward the shop and were met with a line wrapping outside the door and along the wall of the garage. When we finally reached the inside of the shop it was filthy dirty. It looked as if the floor hadn’t been washed in a couple of decades and grease hung to the wall like an abstract art design. The air was thick and heavy with mists of manteca (lard) filling every breathable space. There was a mean dog tied to a rope in the corner of the room, growling and making his presence known with an occasional bark. I refused to make eye contact with him. I looked at the magenta and cream houndstooth colored floor tile or the scribble on a dry erase board that listed the only 3 tortas they made instead. CARNE ASADA, CARNITAS, MILANESA. I whispered to my Dad “I’m gonna get the carnitas.” He smiled at me and said “Not here mija, you have to get the milanesa…It’s the best!” One bite in I understood why we were in this garage eating torta gold! It was my first introduction to a milanesa torta and I have been a believer ever since.
In celebration of my Dad and his love for tortas, I decided to create a torta for him and Dad’s around the globe for Father’s Day this year!
Ingredients For Potato Chip Encrusted Torta:
- 2 – pounds espadilla de res ( flat iron steak or blade steak) (cut into 7×4 pieces)
- 1/3 – cup flour
- 1/2 – teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 – teaspoon crushed pepper
- 2 – eggs
- 1 – 11 oz. bag of Lay’s potato chips (crushed – makes about 3 cups of crumbs)
- vegetable oil
- 1/2 – cup may0
- 3 – tablespoons chopped dill pickle
- 2 – tablespoons Roland Foods Chipotle Paste
- 2 – ripe avocados
- 6 – bolillos
- Place flour, dried oregano, and pepper in a shallow dish and mix to combine. Set to the side.
- In another dish beat eggs with a fork. Set to the side.
- In an additional dish pour in potato chip crumbs. Set to the side.
- Dredge meat in flour mixture till fully coated.
- Then quickly dip into egg.
- Next dredge meat into potato chip crumbs.
- Place meat on a baking sheet to set while you encrust the next piece of meat.
- In a frying pan over a medium flame add 1 – tablespoon of vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan and allow to get hot.
- Add in as many pieces of meat that will fit and cook on each side for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove potato chip encrusted meat from the frying pan and allow to drain on a paper towel while you make the rest.
- Make the sauce: mix mayo, pickles and chipotle paste together for a spice tartar sauce.
- Cut avocado into strips
- Slice bolillo down the center and slather with chipotle tartar then add potato chip milanesa and avocado.
- Cut in half and enjoy!