Is that it? Is summer really almost over? I feel like it didn’t even exist. Yeah sure, there were a few heat waves that could have probably helped me cook a grilled cheese on the sidewalk (shit, why didn’t I really do that?) but other than that, I just feel like it zoomed by faster than Miley Cyrus’s innocence. I didn’t even get a chance to go on a tropical vacation that I’d been mentally stoking myself up for. All that hope’s not good for a girl, ya know? But obviously there’s no need to complain. Summer’s in NYC are the shit! Every weekend there’s these awesome events going on, the beach is just a quick train ride away, and everyone is down to DAY DRINK all the time – which might just be my favorite thing in the world. And along with my favorite thing in the world, comes one of my favorite things to eat in the world. T’wasted or not.
I crave Mexican food approximately every single day but summer is definitely the season of the torta. Whether you’re at the beach having a picnic, starving at 4 o’clock in the morning in-the-middle-of-nowehre-Bushwick, or trying to eat away your emotions alone on a crappy Thursday – it’s the absolute perfect sandwich next to the GC. Greasy, fatty, and satisfying, this sandwich hits all the perfect notes. But my one issue with tortas are that the quality of the meat is always devastatingly questionable. After a few weird bites, I started noticing that the “pork” that once tasted so good after a few Bud heavies is just cubes of fat. Which I guess is totally cool if I am in the FEED ME OR I’M GOING TO KILL MYSELF phase but I’m not always like that so I wanted to remake it – in veggie form.
That’s where this sandwich comes in – It’s like a torta and a grilled cheese took too many tequila shots, made some questionable decisions, and nine months later had a baby that they were surprisingly very proud of. Spicy chipotle aioli, creamy Cedar Grove Monterey Jack cheese, some avocado, corn relish, and cilantro all pile up on a roll to make one of my favorite Mexican treats. And because it’s still my I’m-obsessed-with-Wisconsin-cheese month, there’s another awesome giveaway from Culture magazine and you can win a whole years subscription. Just enter on my Facebook!
So here we go…
-Monterey Jack Cheese (I used Cedar Grove)
-1 half avocado
-1-2 tbsp corn relish (I used Trader Joes)
-a few sprigs of cilantro
-1 torta or portuguese roll
-2 tbsp of chipotle mayo
(Just combine regular ole mayo with a little bit of the liquid that comes in the canned chipotle peppers from the store…make sense?)
Because Tortas (or Portuguese rolls) are kind of fluffy and are almost impossible to make into something that can be easilly grilled, you’re going to have to use my all time fav method to fix this problem – the flippity flop. Have no idea what I’m talking about? Didn’t think so because I just made that up so let me explain. It’s basically when you shave off the top of the bread so that you can a nice, even surface. See?
Once you do that, smear it with some chipotle aioli and if no one’s looking lick the knife.
Now add some of Wisconsin’s finest Monterey Jack from Cedar Grove. It’s buttery, creamy, and has a hint of tartness. It melts really nicely too, I think I took about a thousand pictures of it on my phone as it was happening. Obsessed?
Then gently lay on some avocado slices. If you dont like hot avocados, you can add them at the end once the sandwich is done. OK!?
Now it’s time for some corn relish. I got this jar at Trader Joe’s but you can totally make some with this recipe or find some at your local farmer’s market. It’s sweet, tangy, and citrusy and I totally dig it.
And a few sprigs of cilantro on top…
Now add the remaining cheese and the other piece of bread.
Here comes the crazy part – instead of using butter as your fat, smear on some chipotle aioli! Yeah, total fat kid style over here, but believe me it makes it SO good!
Let it cook for a few minutes on each side until (…you know how this goes) it gets all crispy and perfect. And let it sit for a few minutes before cutting into it so the cheese can glue everything together.
So as we bid adieu to our favorite white cutoffs, let’s all just get really excited that we can finally be in our kitchens without going into a heat stroke. And don’t forget to “like” Culture Cheese‘s FB page to enter the contest!!