Salsa-Dipped Sandwiches Filled with Potato + Chorizo

Pambazos are a classic Mexico City antojito or snack food that are sold in food stands located outside of metro stations, in parks and lining large avenues and streets.   Pambazos are a type of bread similar similar to telera rolls that are dipped in a guajillo salsa, fried and filled with potatoes, chorizo, sour cream and shredded lettuce and are easily one of the city’s most popular antojitos.

Their striking orange color makes them easily recognizable from afar.  In street stands they are dipped in salsa, fried in advance and organized into piles on the comales, or large griddles, ready to be refried, stuffed and sold to passersby.

From what I have observed they are most commonly eaten in the street, however they are also prepared in homes for birthdays or national holidays such as Mexican Independence day on September 15th.   According to Ricardo Muñoz´s Encyclopedia of Mexican Gastronomy pambazos are also prepared in the state of Durango with dark rye bread and filled with pork or chorizo. In Querétaro they are known as guajalotes or turkeys and in Veracruz they are a type of round bread roll sprinkled with flour.

The recipe that I’m going to share is for a traditional Mexico City-style pambazo. The potato and chorizo filling can be replaced with different things, however I highly recommend trying a least once the classic version of this antojito. For the vegetarians of the world I have included a meatless option replacing the chorizo with rajas or strips of roasted poblano peppers.

Pambazos 2

 

Serves 8

Salsa:

  • 15 chiles guajillo with veins and stems removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ onion
  • 3 cups of water
  • salt

Potato + Chorizo Filling

  • 1 pound of small potatoes, boiled and chopped (but any type of potato can be used)
  • ½ lb. of chorizo

Vegetarian Alternative for the Filling  (Potato + Chile Poblano)

  • 1 pound of small potatoes, boiled and chopped (but any type of potato can be used)
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 large chiles poblano

Pambazos

  • 8 pambazos or telera rolls (These can be found in Mexican bakeries.  If you can’t find them you can use bolillos or another type of roll, preferably without herbs or other spices and/or flavorings)
  • Oil
  • ½ head of lettuce finely chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh Mexican cheese (i.e. queso fresco or queso ranchero)

Pambazos 4

Salsa:

Clean the chiles with a damp napkin or clothe to remove dirt and/or dust and remove the seeds and stems.  In a kettle heat about 2 cups of water.  While the water is coming to a boil heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and quickly fry the chiles, for a few seconds on either side. (Be very careful not to burn the chiles or your salsa will be bitter.  The chiles should not be blackened, but rather should lighten slightly in color and begin to smell).  Put the guajillos in a bowl or pot, pouring the boiling water over them and letting them sit for about 20 minutes or until reconstituted.   In a pan or comal roast the onion and garlic until blackened. Blend the chiles, garlic and onion with 1 cup of the water used to reconstitute the chiles and an additional 1 to 2 cups of water.

Potato + Chorizo Filling:

Remove the chorizo casing and fry in a pan over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces.  (There should be no need to add any oil as chorizo already has a lot of fat, which is released during cooking).  Add the potatoes and continue frying, browning the potatoes. Using the back of a large spoon, mash the chorizo and potatoes together.

Potato + Poblano Filling:

Roast the poblanos over an open flame on the stovetop, turning them frequently until completely blackened.  If you are unfortunate enough to have an electric stove you can use the broiler to roast the chiles.  Once blackened put the chiles into a plastic bag and tie it closed. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, this will make it easier to remove the skins. Take the poblanos out of the bag and peel off the skins using a knife and remove the stems and seeds. Cut into inch long slices.  In a medium sized pan sauté the onions until they start to brown. Add the potatoes and continue frying for another 15 minutes.  Add the strips of poblano, mash the mixture together with the back of a large spoon and add salt and pepper.

Pambazos 5

Pambazos:

Heat oil over low heat in a wide pan. While the oil is heating dip the roll in the guajillo sauce so that it is completely covered.  Fry the roll in oil, turning frequently and pressing down with a spatula to flatten until the crust becomes crispy.  Remove the pambazo and repeat the same process with the rest of the bread.  Cut the sandwiches open and fill with the potato and chorizo or potato and poblano filling, adding lettuce, cheese and sour cream.  ¡Provecho!

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