Pambazos (Salsa-Dipped Potato and Chorizo Sandwiches)

Salsa-Dipped Potato and Chorizo Sandwiches (Pambazos)
Salsa-Dipped Potato and Chorizo Sandwiches (Pambazos)
These salsa-dunked and griddled sandwiches, an iconic Mexico City street food, are named for the pambazos—soft, oval rolls—they're typically made with. Telera and kaiser rolls make fine substitutes.Penny De Los Santos

These salsa-dunked and griddled sandwiches, an iconic Mexico City street food, are named for the pambazos—soft, oval rolls—they're typically made with. Telera and kaiser rolls make fine substitutes.

Pambazos (Salsa-Dipped Potato and Chorizo Sandwiches)
These salsa-dunked and griddled sandwiches, an iconic Mexico City street food, are named for the pambazos — soft, oval rolls — they're typically made with. Telera and kaiser rolls make fine substitutes.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 15 dried guajillo chiles (available at marxfoods.com)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 12 small white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 14 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 cup canola oil
  • 1 14 lb. fresh chorizo, casings removed
  • 6 soft pambazos, teleras (see Mexico's Daily Breads), or kaiser rolls, split
  • 3 shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cups grated queso Oaxaca (available at mexgrocer.com) or mozzarella
  • 34 cup crema (available at mexgrocer.com) or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chiles, and cook, turning once, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer all chiles to a large bowl; pour over 4 cups boiling water, and let sit until chiles are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 14 cups soaking liquid, and remove stems and seeds from chiles. Transfer chiles and reserved soaking liquid to a blender along with garlic and onion; purée until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl; set aside.
  2. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat; add potatoes, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium heat; add chorizo, and cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes, and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Using your fingers, scoop out and discard the insides of rolls, leaving a 12"-thick shell. Place about 1 cup potato-chorizo mixture on roll bottoms, and cover with tops; press sandwiches lightly to flatten and compact filling. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Submerge two sandwiches in chile sauce until thoroughly soaked, at least 10 seconds; place in skillet, and cook, pressing constantly with a metal spatula to flatten and flipping once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; repeat with remaining oil, sandwiches, and sauce. Open sandwiches and divide lettuce, cheese, and crema among sandwiches; close sandwiches again and serve warm.
Illustration: Sam Wiley

A Tip For Toasting Dried Chiles "To activate the flavors of dried chiles, toast them before adding them to a sauce, as in the recipe for pambazos. Cook them on a dry comal or skillet over medium-high heat until they become fragrant and deepen slightly in color. There's a fine line between toasting and burning, and some chiles cook faster than others. Use your senses to judge timing: The aroma should be round, deep, and intense, not sharp and charred." —Iliana de la Vega, chef-owner of El Naranjo in Austin, Texas, and chef-instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio