In Mexico tortas are very popular meals. They can be served cold or hot, wet in a sauce, dry or grilled.
By Nancy Lopez-McHugh
Torta is a Spanish word, which depending on the Spanish speaking country, can mean either cake, a flat bread, or sandwich. As you can see I’m talking about a sandwich. In Mexico tortas are very popular meals. They can be served cold or hot, wet in a sauce, dry or grilled. The ingredients are as simple as beans, ham and cheese, scrambled eggs, or heartier ingredients like the milanesa you see here. In Mexican Spanish milanesa means a breaded and fried cutlet. The cutlet can be either beef, pork or chicken.
The cutlet is much the same as an Autrian or German Schnitzel and a Czech smažený ?ízek. From our travels around central and Eastern Europe we’ve learned that breaded and fried cutlets are a popular meal around the region and beyond. In fact it was the Central and Eastern Europeans who introduced the cutlets to Latin America. Of course over time the cutlets evolved according to local cuisine and ingredients. In my family milanesa means a pork cutlet, but unlike the European versions our cutlets are served as a sandwich.
- 2-3 pork cutlets or thinly sliced lean peace of pork*
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ tsp granulated garlic
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1-2 large eggs
- oil for frying
- refried beans
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- queso fresco or substitute with feta
- sliced onions
- radish slices
- tomato slices
- hot sauce or salsa of choice
- bolillos or telera or birote Mexican breads**
- Mix breadcrumbs with garlic, salt and pepper until well combined, set aside.
- In a separate bowl lightly beat egg(s) and set aside. Tenderize pork into a thin piece, cut away any excess fat.
- Dip the tenderized cutlets into the beaten egg, coat on both sides.
- Dredge the cutlets into breadcrumbs until coated well on both sides.
- Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Heat about ½ cup of sunflower, or vegetable oil.
- Once it reaches 175c or 350c fry the cutlets until crispy and brown. Allow to cool before assembling.
- Cut bread lengthwise, spread refried beans on one half and cream on the other.
- Place cooled cutlet ontop of refried beans, and add all or any of the suggested toppings.
The recipe is quite simple and can be adjusted according to taste or what you have in the refrigerator. The bread I used is Mexican bolillo bread, they are homemade but it is not my recipe. The bolillo recipe can be found here.