One of my favorite ways to use Chipotle is in a sauce. The sauce is made with tomatoes, dried ancho chilies and chipotles. I first fell in love with this sauce when I had my first Torta Gema. The sauce was so good, I had to find other ways to use it in my recipes. Thus, my Albondigas al Chipotle (Chipotle Meatballs) were born.
Albondigas al Chipotle
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, plain
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 10 to 12 roma tomatoes
- 2 dried ancho chilies
- 2 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the ground pork, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, onion and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Mix ingredients until well combined.
Shape meat mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place the tomatoes and dried ancho chilies in a medium saucepan or pot. Fill saucepan with enough water to cover the tomatoes. Bring to boil, over high heat. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. Place cooked chilies in a blender cup with the chipotles. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked tomatoes to the blender cup. Puree the chilies and tomatoes until smooth.
Pour puree mixture into a 2 quart saucepan. Add 1-1/2 cups of the liquid in which the tomatoes were cooked. Season with salt and mix well.
Brink sauce to a boil over medium heat. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti or Sopa de Arroz Blanco (white rice). Enjoy!
For a Torta de Albondigas al Chipotle (Chipotle Meatball Sandwich) serve meatballs and sauce over a toasted bolillo roll. Top with your favorite cheese (I like queso fresco and/or Oaxaca cheese.) and broil in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Top with fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
*The meatballs can be prepared with ground chicken or turkey.
Guadalajara, Jalisco's state capital, is famous for its Tortas Ahogadas (drowned sandwiches). It's a sandwich made with refried beans and Carnitas, served on a bolillo roll, and drowned in a sauce made with tomatoes and chile de arbol.
But the Torta Ahogada isn't the only kind of drowned sandwich available in Jalisco. Let me introduce you to my favorite..La Torta Gema.
Tortas Gema, are prepared with Mexican crema, shredded pork, lettuce, tomato and onion on a bolillo roll, smothered in a tomato, ancho chile and chipotle sauce.
I usually buy a pound of lomo (pork shoulder roast) and cook it in water with onion, garlic and salt until very tender, But, you could also use leftover roast pork or carnitas.
Torta Gema (Shredded Pork Sandwich)
- 1 pound pork shoulder roast
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 12 roma tomatoes
- 2 dried ancho chilies
- 2 chipotle peppers
- 6 bolillo rolls
- Mexican Crema or Sour Cream
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced tomato
- Sliced onion
Cut the pork shoulder roast into 1-inch slices. Place it in a 2-quart saucepan with the onion and garlic clove. Season with salt. Fill the saucepan with just enough water to cover the pork meat. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium, and let simmer until the meat is very tender. (About 60 to 90 minutes.) Let meat cool slightly, then shred.
While the meat is cooking, place the 12 tomatoes and dried ancho chilies in a medium saucepan. Fill saucepan with enough water to cover tomatoes. Bring to boil over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Remove stems and seeds from cooked chilies. Place the cooked chilies and tomatoes in a blender cup with the chipotles; puree until smooth. Pour tomato puree into a medium saucepan with 1-1/2 cups of the liquid in which the tomatoes were cooked. Season with salt. Bring sauce to boil over medium heat.
To assemble the tortas, cut the bolillo rolls in half lengthwise. Spread Mexican Crema on cut sides of bolillo. Top one half of the bolillo roll with shredded pork, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and onion. Cover with the other half of bolillo. Ladle sauce over your torta. and voilá...you have a delicious Torta Gema! Enjoy!!!