Mexican Tortas with Chorizo and Black Beans

This recipe for tasty tortas comes from our Mexican Everyday cookbook by Rick Bayless.  A torta is a Mexican-sandwich that features a smear of mashed beans and a wide variety of toppings including cheese, lettuce, sour cream, or salsa.  For these tortas we garnished our sandwiches with Queso Fresco, avocado, and Cholula hot sauce.  The resulting tortas contained the perfect combination of warm beans, spicy chorizo, and savory cheese and avocado, all nestled between golden-brown pieces of crusty bread.

Tortas de Chorizo y Frijoles Negros (from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

You will need…
8 oz. Chorizo Sausage, removed from casing
Olive Oil
2 – 15 oz. cans Black Beans, undrained
Salt, to taste
2-3 Crusty Rolls, approx. 6 inches long (we used a French Baguette and cut it into three 6″ sections)
6 oz. Queso Fresco cheese, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 ripe Avocado, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Cholula Hot Sauce, or other bottled sauce or hot salsa

Directions:
Brown the chorizo and break it up in a large skillet over medium heat.  After the chorizo is completely cooked through, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the black beans.  Bring the beans to a simmer and mash them with the back of a large spoon.  (You can also use a bean masher or potato masher if you have one but the spoon worked fine for us.)  Continue to cook the bean mixture, stirring almost constantly, for about 10 minutes.  Taste the mixture and add salt if needed.  Cover the beans and leave on the stove over low heat.

Meanwhile, slice each roll in half lengthwise.  Use your fingers to pull out some of the soft bread in the center to make room for the bean mixture.  Use a spoon or brush to spread approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto the inside faces of each roll.  Place the rolls face-down on a preheated heavy-bottomed skillet and toast the bread until it turns golden brown.  We had to do this in batches since only one roll could fit in our skillet.  Press the rolls down as they cook so that they toast evenly.

To assemble your torta, spread a liberal amount of the chorizo-bean mixture along the bottom half of each roll.  Top with the sliced queso fresco and avocados, then add a few drops (or many drops… your choice!) of hot sauce.  Cut the torta in half and enjoy!