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The Torta De Milanesa of Your Dreams

It'd been a while since I'd had a really stellar torta, and I got hit with a massive craving earlier this year. Torta De Milanesa is my all time favorite, because you end up with a massive sandwich full of perfect bites. The salsa balances the fatty ingredients, and the beans/ mayo bring creaminess to keep things interesting. The bread has become my go to burger bun/ breakfast sandwich roll. I keep a bunch around in the freezer and defrost them when I need one. If you don't need to make the buns, the prep time is much shorter, closer to half an hour or so. The chicken is the main factor defining serving sizes, so prep more chicken breasts if you need them.

 

Prep Time: Cook Time: Serves:

2.5 hours 50 Minutes 4 sandwiches (easily more)





Teleras

300g of warm water

8g active dry yeast

600g ap flour

42g sugar

12g kosher salt

45g oil (canola, veggie, or peanut)

Arbol Salsa

Chicken Cutlets

Easy Beans

Toppings!


Step 1: Make Teleras Dough

In a large bowl, mix together 8g of active dry yeast with 300g of warm water. To that, add 600g of all purpose flour and then mix it with a wooden spoon until you can’t anymore and have to switch to hands. Mix that with your hands until it’s come together and is almost smooth. You can then cover it and let it rest in a warm place for an hour. This should be enough time for the dough to double in size.


Step 2: Make Arbol Salsa

3 Arbols is gonna get you a pretty hot salsa, so I’d say go for 2 if you want it just regular hot. Remove the seeds from your chiles and set them aside. Take 4 of the best tasting tomatoes you can find and dice them. Crush a clove of garlic and remove the paper. At the stove, heat up enough oil to coat the pan and add in the garlic clove. Once it’s bubbling aggressively, you know it’s hot enough to add in the arbols. These will fry in the oil for 15 seconds max. The color will brighten and that will be enough time to soften them while they cool. Remove them from the pan and add in the tomatoes to begin cooking. These are gonna release their juices, so don’t worry about adding any water. Bring these to a simmer and cook them until most of the tomato water is gone, roughly 10 minutes or so. Season this with salt while they cook. Once softened, add them to a blender with the arbols and a splash of white vinegar. This will probably need some more salt, but taste it just to make sure. If it’s too thin, you can throw it back into the pan to reduce until it’s a thick but runny salsa. Place this in the fridge to cool.


Step 3: Portion And Shape Dough

The dough should be doubled in size at this point. In a small bowl, mix together 40g of sugar with 12g of kosher salt and 45g of neutral oil. It sounds like a lot of sugar, but it helps with the flavor and texture of this dough a ton. Once it’s pasty, add it into your dough ball and begin the process of kneading this into a smooth supple dough. I’m not gonna lie to you, this starts out pretty gross. Initially it’s greasy and you can feel all the grains of sugar/ salt, but as you work it, the fat and sugar begin to work themselves through the dough. It’s going to feel like it just won’t come together, but after 5 minutes, you’ll start to notice the change. Once you hit the 10 minute mark, this should be springy and beautiful, so you can begin portioning this out.


Start by cutting the dough in half, and make sure the halves are close to the same weight. From there, each half will be taken down to 3 balls, roughly 150-160g each. Take each piece and roll it on the board to create a tight ball. It’s best to keep one end touching the board, and roll your hand like a cage on top of it. Your palm will barely touch the dough, and your fingers will be on the board. Once balled, press them into elongated disks, almost egg shaped and then using a chopstick, press 2 perpendicular lines into the top of the bread. To get these to stay, you do need to press pretty hard. Place these on a parchment lined tray and cover to rise for another hour.


Step 4: Butterfly And Season Chicken

Take 2 trimmed chicken breasts and butterfly them into 4 even pieces. Take those pieces and pound them so they’re equally thin. Season both sides with a liberal amount of kosher salt and pepper along with a little bit of msg (optional but highly recommended). Let this rest covered in the fridge for the time being. This will allow the salt to evenly season the entire piece of chicken.


Step 5: Bake Rolls

After the hour rise time, the rolls should be nice, airy and doubled in size. Place these into a 375 Fahrenheit oven for 14-16 minutes. Rotate the tray halfway through the cook time. They should have a little crust but it shouldn't be hard like sourdough. These will need some time to rest and cool before they are good to go, so set them on a wire rack until they’ve cooled completely.


Step 6: Prep Toppings

Thinly sliced white onion goes a long way to bring a little crisp sharp bite. Place these in some cold water to make them a little less harsh if you’d like. This sandwich will also need a mountain of crisp cool lettuce, so finely shred some iceberg and place it in the fridge to stay cold. Pull apart some Oaxacan cheese to add to the sandwich, the amount is up to your preference. Oaxacan cheese is an almost chewier mozzarella, so string cheese can be a good replacement if you can’t find it. To make the mayonesa, simply mix kewpie mayo with some fresh lime juice. The ratio is to taste, just make sure the sauce isn’t watery in the end.


For the last creamy component, beans can serve as a spread to bring flavor and texture. For a really really easy refried bean, heat a skillet over medium and add a little oil or pork fat to the pan. Once hot, add in a can of drained pinto beans. Season this with a little salt, a ton of fresh black pepper, cumin, coriander, lots of smoked paprika and something spicy. This could be cayenne, some of the salsa you made, or just powdered chiles. Use something you like, but not too much, you don’t want these to taste spicy. Add a little water and begin mashing the beans with a spoon or a potato masher if you have it. Continue working through until most of the beans have been crushed and you’re left with a semi chunky semi smooth bean. You want this to be spreadable as a topping, so adjust the texture with water as needed. Keep this warm on the stove until you need it later.


Step 7: Bread And Fry Cutlets

The standard breading procedure is first flour, then egg wash, and then the bread crumb. Mix 2 eggs with a little water and a pinch of salt to create the egg wash. For the bread crumbs, use an equal part standard breadcrumb to panko. Season the crumbs with garlic powder and smoked paprika. Lightly coat the chicken in all purpose flour. Tap off any excess flour and add the chicken into the egg wash. Make sure it’s totally coated and drop it into the bread crumbs. Press those into each piece to make sure the breading doesn’t fall off into the pan. Continue working through the pieces until they're all coated. Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a skillet over medium high until it’s nice and hot. You can test the heat by dropping a little breadcrumb, if it bubbles nicely, it’s ready, if it does nothing, it’s not. Gently lay your chicken pieces away from you into the oil. They should sizzle and bubble without popping aggressively. 2 minutes a side is a pretty good time for these, but you can pretty much go off color alone. If they are golden and crispy, they are ready to flip, if they are pale, they aren’t. Hit these with salt once they come out so the salt adheres to the hot oil on the cutlets. With the chicken finished, slice your rolls and toast them in butter to create a crunchy base layer.


Step 8: Build The Tortas

To build it, start with a bottom bun that will be topped with the warm refried beans. Place your crispy cutlet on top of the beans and then spoon on as much arbol salsa as you like. Place some of the pulled oaxacan cheese on the salsa. If you split this into building two halves, versus piling it all on one side, you have a better shot of not losing all of your fillings to the plate. For the top bun, smear on that limey mayo. Top it with your lettuce, those thin onions and some sliced avocado if you have it. Guide the top bun into place and get ready to dive in. Everything here is thought out and balanced, work in part to make the whole thing delicious. I hope you make this soon, cheers!

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Hey, I'm Cameron, and I'm glad you're here. I post new recipes every week, all intended to build your confidence in the kitchen, each one with video tutorials to help. Craving something specific? Drop me a note in my contact form! 

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