Saturday, May 12, 2012

Little Bit's Torta

My husband is of Hispanic descent.  We both love our ethnic foods, but he especially appreciates a good enchilada/burrito/taco/flauta/rice/beans/etc.  Gina's SkinnyTaste blog has been a wonderful guide in helping me prepare my husband some authentic Hispanic meals without blowing the calorie budget or our grocery budget. 

After getting my feet wet in cooking some ethnic dishes (our favorites from SkinnyTaste are Arroz con Pollo and Latin Yellow Rice), I decided to veer off on my own and try to make a torta.  What the heck is a torta, you may ask?  Well, it's many things, but most of all it's delicious.

A torta can be simple:  bolillo bun with butter or beans or some type of meat.  That is the kind of torta that my husband grew up eating.  My kind of torta is a little more complex.  The first time I had a good, juicy torta was at Big Truck Tacos.  The menu describes a torta as:
     choice of flank steak, borracho chicken or verde pork
     toasted bolillo bun, white bean dip, poblano-pepita pesto, sliced red onion, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, queso fresco, served with a roasted jalapeno.

And it was heavenly.  I couldn't get enough of it.

So this past week, I decided to try to make a torta based off of the BTT tortas I love.  And it was so good, we've been eating them for 3 days straight, lunch AND dinner.  In fact, I had to buy more rolls to keep up with our torta-love!

So, here's how you do it, "little-bit style".  It's messy, so make sure you have a few napkins available.


Little Bit's Torta (~410 cals, serves 1):

1.  Ingredients:
     ciabatta rolls, sliced in half, about 2-3 oz., toasted (or be traditional and use bolillo rolls...  the ciabatta adds a nice, urban touch)
     about 1/4 cup of some kind of meat (we've used shredded buffalo chicken and shredded pulled pork)
     about 1/2 oz of a really tasty cheese (I used goat cheese, but queso fresco, sharp cheddar, or feta would work too).
     about 1/8 cup refried/pureed/mashed beans, any type (I used spicy refried beans).
     a little bit of lettuce or cabbage
     1 TBS pico de gallo
     1 TBS guacamole or mashed avocado

2 oz. toasted ciabatta roll, 1/2 oz. goat cheese, 1 TBS guac, 1 TBS pico (underneath guac), 1/8 cup spicy beans, 1/4 cup pulled pork, ~2 TBS cabbage mix)

2.  You should have your ingredients at hand for quick assembly.  After your rolls are halved, toast the bread either by sticking it in the oven/toaster oven, or for a more traditional touch spray a pan with some cooking spray and place the rolls face-down and toast until crispy.

3.  Spread your cheese on one half of the roll, and the beans on the other.  Stick your meat on top of the beans, and then layer the rest of your ingredients.  Be creative!  Make this torta your own...  I typically like to layer beans, meat, pico, guac, cabbage, cheese.

4.  Stuff yourself.  Be prepared to make another one because they are just that good.  Don't be afraid to get your hands a little messy...  in my experience, a good torta is a messy torta.  In fact, if you don't end up with torta all over your fingers (or on your keyboard, if you're eating at your desk) then you might be doing something terribly wrong.

Although my husband grew up eating simple tortas, he really loves when we have Little Bit's Tortas for dinner.  They also make a great lunch to brown-bag at work.  I divide my ingredients up into little containers, and heat up the meat/beans while the bread is toasting.  It takes about 5 minutes to assemble the torta and it's such a fun and tasty meal!

We still have quite a bit of pulled pork left, so I think tonight we'll get creative and try torta-dillas...  a deconstructed torta thrown into a quesadilla.  Don't tell me you don't think a torta-dilla doesn't sound absolutely life-changing!

How many ways can a twenty-something American serve a torta?  Let's find out!  How would YOU serve up Little Bit's tortas?


  1. I'm definitely going to be trying this! I'm curious to see if you could turn this into a dessert somehow too!

    1. I will definitely be thinking about this challenege! :)