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Monday, May 9, 2011

Crispy Pambazos (...let's call it a cross between a Pambazo and a Torta)

Let me start out by sharing a little bit of Pambazo trivia.  The pambazo (a type of Mexican sandwich) takes its name from the bread it is traditionally made with...Pan Basso.  Basically a peasant bread that is very large and is chewier, or tougher and drier than a Bolillo or Telera bread.  Since the bread is "tougher", it holds up well to the bath it takes in a salsa made of chiles (traditionally Guajillos).  An honest to goodness Pambazo is made by dipping the bread in a chile sauce...all of the bread...bathed in salsa...then it is split down the middle and filled with a filling of papas con chorizo (potatoes and chorizo) and then lettuce, queso fresco, crema and cilantro are piled on top of that.  It is one big, glorious mess. 

While the Pambazo I am bringing you today is not is delicious.  We started making Pambazos this way at home since we haven't been able to find any Pan Basso.  Of course, now that I write it out, it seems silly.  I mean, why don't I just find a recipe and make it myself, right?  One of these days.  Until then, we use either bolillos or telera bread...and these breads don't hold up to a salsa bath quite as well as the traditional bread does.  Meaning, when we immerse the whole thing in salsa, by the time we're halfway through our sandwiches, the bread is mush (annoying mush as opposed to the glorious sponge that is pan basso).  So.  We decided that instead of bathing our bread in a chile salsa, we would give it a sponge bath instead.  By making a chile paste and brushing the bread (inside and out) with it, we are able to obtain the messy hands and face that you look forward to accompanying the undertaking of a Pambazo while having our sandwich (basically) stay together.  Plus, we just like crisping up the crust. 

So, in essence, I suppose this is really a Pambazo-Torta hybrid.  Fill it with the traditional papas con chorizo or refried beans...or stack it with your personal favorite fillings.  This is a favorite combination in our house.
Crispy Pambazos
from the kitchen of girlichef
makes 4 sandwiches

for the arrachera:
1 lb. arrachera, run through jaccarder (skirt steak)
2-3 limes (scant ¼ c.), juiced
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced very well (you want it juicy)
scant tsp. kosher salt

for the chile paste (makes 1 heaping cup):

6 pasilla chiles, stemmed
2 small tomato
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ tsp. kosher salt

chorizo con frijoles negro:
8 oz. fresh chorizo
1½-2 c. cooked black beans

all the rest:
4 Bolillos (big ones)
butter, at room temp.
~6 oz. Queso Fresco, crumbled
few handfuls iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
Mexican Crema
½ bunch cilantro, chopped roughly
for the arrachera:
Separate the meat into ~10" sections.  It's easy if it's been run through the can just rip it.  Place it in a gallon-size zippered baggie and add lime juice, garlic, and salt.  Smoosh it all around to coat the meat, seal the baggie and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to an hour.  Preheat a grill, grill pan, or heavy skillet.  Add meat and turn when the bottom is beautifully browned.  Seriously, this can't really get "too" done.  It won't take too long, it's very thin...maybe 3 or 4 minutes per side...I love getting crispy bits here and there.  It will be packed with flavor and wonderfully "chewy".  I mean that in a good way.  Set aside.
for the chile paste:
Place chiles, tomato and garlic in a small pan and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for ~5-6 minutes, or until everything is tender.  Transfer everything to the jar of a blender, using a slotted spoon to leave behind the water.  Add salt and blend.  You shouldn't need any extra water (there's plenty in the're looking for a paste)...but by all means, add a dribble at a time if it won't move through the blender.  Set aside.  (You probably won't use all of this...but you can blend it up with some water and use it as salsa later.)

for the chorizo con frijoles negro:
Cook until chorizo is browned and cooked all the way through over medium heat, ~10 minutes.  If your chorizo is greasy, drain off all but a thin coating on the bottom of the pan.  Add the beans with a bit of their juices or some water (~¼ c.) and mash up with a potato masher.  Lower heat and cook over low until warm through and the flavors have combined, ~4-5 minutes.  (You probably won't use all of this, but it is excellent as a taco filling, or shmeared on tostadas...or my personal favorite, as a sope topping!)  Set aside.
to assemble and finish Pambazos:
Slice your bolillos open, lengthwise.  Preheat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.  Spread a bit of butter on BOTH sides of EACH half.  Place cut and buttered sides down first (do this in batches, if necessary) and leave until golden, ~2-3 minutes.  Flip so buttered outsides are now down.  Brush a good layer of chile paste on the now golden cut sides.  Begin to layer your ingredients on the bottom halves of the bolillos...starting with a good layer of the chorizo-bean mixture.  Next, lay a quarter of the arrachera.  Sprinkle with a quarter of the queso, lettuce, tomato, and avocado.  Drizzle with as much crema as you'd like, then sprinkle with cilantro, to taste.  Place the "lid" on and then paint it with a good layer of chile paste...then flip it carefully (you may want to add another small pat of butter to the pan).  Now paint the bottom with a layer of chile paste.  Flip the Pambazo back over to cook the last side (recently "pasted" bottom) when the top has crisped up a bit.  It will look dark, but as long as you watch it, that's just the chile cooking...not burning.  However, DO watch it, because it can burn easily.  Once the bottom half is cooked the same way, lift from the skillet onto a platter or serving plate.  Cut in half carefully and serve with ice-cold cervezas!
p.s.~ Yes, I realize... ¡Este pambazo es gigantesco! Simplemente siéntese, relájese y disfrute.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy☺.  And work out double-time tomorrow...
I am sharing this post with:
Souper_Sundays2 tnsc HearthandSoulBadge-1 Tasty Tuesdays 33 shades of green delectabletuesday 5569196101_967c9f3b57_o PeppersTuesdaysTastyTidbits TastyTuesdayBB tastytuesdayfortheloveofblogs tuesdays at the table

Would you like to comment?

  1. It definitely looks delicious! Overflowing with delicious!

  2. Damn does that look good!

  3. I love pambazos! I never would have thought to try a rub on the bread instead of the salsa. I will have to try that next time I make pambazos. :)

    The last pic looks absolutely delicious. :)

  4. This looks awesome love the spice factor, bread and everything in there.

  5. this looks beyond sinful, and has all the Mexican flavors i'm seriously craving from the opposite hemisphere!

    man oh man.

  6. okay you need to stop, this looks ridiculously delish. OMG!!!!

  7. A glorious mess complete with avocado -- and Model! I'm all over that! Delicious!

  8. Food porn alert! I love the gooey, messy lot. Wish I could bite right in!!

  9. Okay, I'm swearing....because I want some of this now! That is one hell of a serious sandwich!!

  10. This is a flavor sensation in the mouth. I have never even heard of this (so I'm naive - shoot me) but I want to experience it.

  11. Que exquisita receta muy tentadora y contundente,se ve precioso tu plato una maravilla.cariños y abrazos.

  12. yummy n tempting ....

  13. Que apetecible, te ha quedado genial.


  14. Funny post. The first time my son tried Pambazos was in Chapultepec. He asked me what they were called "Panzasos" :) since he didn't read the sign well. I laugh so much about it even now. After looking at your pambazo then I realize that maybe he was right, eating something so big and good looking, they should be call "Panzasos"

    Have a great day!


  15. Oh my GOD! It's 8:25 AM and I'm positively drooling for this sandwich. I think I'm safe in assuming that since we recently moved to Maine, none of the breads will be available. Ugh.

  16. That's just wrong! I love the way you set your table and the Modelos (I'm a fan of the dark Modelos too)and that presentaion. It's breakfats time and I could totally eat that sandwich. Right. Now!

  17. Making me drool, already, and its only 9 am :)
    Following you from

  18. Wow - what I wouldn't do for that sandwich! Heather, that looks amazing!

  19. This is awesome, a terrific combination of all the ingredients, just the kind of flavors we've been craving lately. I would love to make this for my family.

  20. That looks so darn good I can't even find the right words for it. That's just the way I like a sandwich: tons of flavor, lots of filling, spicy, grilled...pure heaven.

  21. Okay, that thing has me drooling. WOW.

  22. Sientese, relajese y disfrute!! Oh yeah!! I would love to have this for dinner, goodness my hubby would freak, in a good way!!


  23. Ha - that's the first thing I thought of - how many calories is in that??!!

    But worth the double workout! :D

  24. You're not kidding about working out double time. But it does look like the perfect hangover food. Looks awesome!

  25. Could my heart be filled with any more love for this sandwich? Doubtful. Off to search for pan basso recipes! This is SO happening.

  26. Bo already took the words right out of my mouth! An extra 'Damn...'

  27. New here from Tasty Tues! This looks amazing, messy equals yum right? Love it!

  28. That is one heck of a delicious sounding and looking sandwich! Wow.

  29. I've never heard of this sandwich, but it looks wicked good.

  30. This is new to me too. And totally sexy. We need to come down for some foodies lessons! I assume you have room for us? No worries, we have a tent. ☺

  31. You had me at "Crispy."
    OMGut. I'm so excited to be your new follower. Correction, stalker. I'm gonna put 10 pounds on in your honor and at your direction. Promise.

    Oh- found you at Tasty Tuesday. Thank foodgod.

  32. Oh my God, this looks sooo good! This is going on my must-try list!
    And your baked brie iwth rigatoni and spinach looks incredible, Heather!


  33. Mmmm yummi yummi!

    I love pambazos!!!
    Qué delicia!!!!

    Salu2 desde Monterrey, MEXICO!

  34. Heather thanks for sharing with hearth and soul blog hop.

  35. I saw these pictures earlier, but didn't have time to read everything. Oh. My. Goodness!! You're makin' me hungry girl!!! these look amazing, and I have to say that I feel really silly, bc after all my years, I've never heard of bolillos!! I'll have to check w/ all my latino friends and see what I've been missing!! LOL!!

  36. Oh wow, now that is a sandwich! Looks like it could feed a small household, or one of my boys :)

  37. Oh you are taunting me with that sandwich and all its chorizo glory! ;-) It looks delicious. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  38. There is so much I don't know about Mexican food! This looks so delicious and I have never even imagined bathing bread in salsa! The chorizo & black beans sounds like a great use for some of my Forging Fromage chorizo!

  39. holy smokin' sandwich batman! i am dying over here for one of these. why have i never heard of these sandwiches. and why haven't these surged ahead of those silly bahn mi. thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club!

  40. I never heard of pambazo... but I think I will try it soon, thank you!

  41. I have never seen bread like that, now I am really curious to try it.