Monday, 21 March 2011

RECIPE · How to make a cheeky chili sauce drenched sandwich, otherwise known as "pambazo"

Pambazos are a very special kind of antojito (snack) because although being Mexican, they don't involve corn at all! They are often compared to sandwiches because they're basically white bread with a filling. But that's just the beginning of the story, because where's the oomph in that?

Well, the bread is first dipped into a rich guajillo salsa and then shallow fried to make it crispy, and that's where the yum factor is! Also, in the filling. It can be chicken in green mole or potato and chorizo.

They are one of the cornerstones of Mexican street food along with esquites, garnachas, gorditas, quesadillas and tostadas, and very popular at public celebrations.

Street Pambazo
Pambazos on a street stall in Toluca during the Independence festivities
Here's what you need to make them at home. It's worth noting that you can't just use any kind of bread, as most rolls are so crispy on the outside that when covered in salsa they become rubbery, so it's best to make your own rolls.

For the Bread Rolls
  • 200 ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp milk powder
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 200 C pre heated oven
  • Bread-maker (optional)
Mix all the ingredients in order. You can knead and knead until you get a smooth dough and then let it rise (covered) in a warm place until it triples its size, but it's a lot easier to use a bread machine and set it for it to make only dough (same deal as if you were preparing pizza dough).

Once it's ready, cover a clean surface in flour and spread the dough. Divide it into 5 chunks and shape them like an ovoid. Place on a tray and bake for 8-10 minutes.

For the Filling and Shallow Frying
Chop the chorizo into small squares and mash the potatos. Mix them up and shallow fry until they begin to look gold and crispy. Set aside.

Preheat 1/3 of a cup of vegetable oil in the pan or wok. Pour the contents of the Salsa de Guajillo jar in the bowl. Slice the rolls but not all the way through (both halves should remain attached like some sort of clam). Dip the bread in the guajillo salsa, holding it with the tongs (A). Once it's completely covered, pan fry it until crispy (B). Set aside and stuff the pambazo with the potato filling. You may want to keep them inside a warm oven while you finish with the rest.


For Serving
  • 150 ml  soured cream
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 50 gr grated Parmesan cheese
Simply pour a few spoonfuls of soured cream on top of the pambazo, and sprinkle with lettuce and grated cheese. It should look something like this:

Home Made Pambazo Stuffed with Potato and Chorizo

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