Sunday, September 1, 2013

Two Way Torta: Half Smoky & Half Spicy Shredded Chicken Salad with Jalapeno, Tomato & Avocado

In my last post, I explained my general disdain for popularity contests masquerading as recipe competitions. On a more positive note, however, I expressed my pleasure at having discovered the Mezzetta "Make That Sandwich" contest, as it's curated by food professionals and the prize is the not inconsiderable sum of $25,000.

And I figure two chances are better than one, so, along with my savory French toast creation, the "Mezze Cristo," I've come up with this Mexican-style sandwich, the "Two Way Torta." Note I say Mexican style, as it's in no way a perfectly authentic Mexican torta. Not, say, like these insane creations Poppa Trix and I had at Cafeteria de Cuadrilatero, owned by former luchador (wrestler) El Super Astro:
In fact, my torta is a mash up of the shredded chicken torta on the left (above) and these enchiladas divorciadas we had at Cafe El Popular, so named because of the two separate sauces on the plate:
My Two Way Torta has a smoky red chicken salad on one side which uses Mezzeta's Roasted Red Pepper and Chipotle Sandwich Spread, and a spicy green (verde) version on the other side from Mezetta's Jalapeno with Mexican Style Cheese spread. The smoky version gets topped with their "tamed" pickled jalapeno, while the spicy side gets a dose of hot jalapeno peppers. It is the best of both worlds:
Two Way Torta
makes 3 sandwiches

2 cups shredded chicken (well packed)
4 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise, divided
3 heaping tablespoons Mezzeta Roasted Red Pepper and Chipotle Sandwich Spread
3 heaping tablespoons Mezetta Jalapeno with Mexican Style Cheese Spread
3 tablespoons chopped scallion (green part), divided
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 each small red and yellow tomato, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
6 rings Mezzetta Deli Sliced Hot Jalapeno peppers, chopped
6 rings Mezzetta Deli Sliced Tamed Jalapeno peppers, chopped
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
3 torta rolls (bolillo) or 3 ciabatta rolls

To make the red chicken salad, combine 1 cup of the chicken, 2 tablespoons of the mayo, the Mezzetta red pepper and chipotle spread, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chopped scallions, 1 teaspoon of the fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Do the same thing to make the green chicken salad, this time using the Mezzetta Jalapeno with Mexican Style Cheese Spread. 

To assemble the tortas, cut each roll in half and scoop out the soft part of the bread on the bottom half of the roll. Place 1/3 of the green chicken salad on one side and 1/3 of the red chicken salad on the other side. Top the green chicken salad with 1/3 of the hot jalapeno peppers; the red side with 1/3 of the tamed jalapeno peppers. Finish with 1/3 of the tomato and avocado slices and cilantro sprigs and top half of the roll. Repeat for the other two sandwiches. 

I may not win the $25,000, but making and eating these sandwiches was certainly no hardship! 


  1. I think that you have shown that if there is anyone who understands the spirit and verisimilitude of these Mezetta products it is you. If I were to be presented with this plate I simply wouldn't know where to start but I can tell you I would make short work of both so fast it wouldn't matter. I love that you used that gorgeous plate of enchiladas for inspiration.

  2. Definitely would have to eat both completely to choose, both look amazing.

  3. Being a Californian I am a fan of the torta (especially the Pueblo version know as the Cemita). I think this gives the the authority to declare this a "winner" if not down right "popular". GREG

  4. You're a winner to me. I love your flavors and creativity and could sink my teeth right in.