Monday, October 12, 2009


This week's Kroger bargain meal is tortas. I've been reading Rick Bayless cookbooks the last couple of weeks, and so Mexican food was on the brain. I love tortas (love them!), although my dear Mike is always, "well, they are good for a sandwich." Whatever.

I should add a disclaimer here. We will eat anywhere, and we will eat anything. We've had some really great meals ordered in a language we didn't understand. And a few flops. One of the flops was at a local torta shop. Where I live, chicken hot dogs are a very popular meat amongst Mexican folks. And, you guessed it, the torta my husband ordered had hot dogs on it. So, now, he's afraid of hot dogs every time I bring up tortas.

But, here's how I made them the other night, no hot dogs in sight!

These buns are bolillos, from the Buford Highway Farmers' Market. We went there last weekend and were able to sample warm tortillas, Mexican deli meat, Salvadorean cream, Eastern European cold veggie salads, Russian salami, and several varieties of kim-chi, all in a space smaller than Walmart. That's my kind of place!

These sandwiches start with a smear of refried beans on the bottom bun. Topped with ham. Just regular old cheap lunch meat. Nothing fancy.

After the ham comes the main meat of the sandwich. Whatever you like. This is roasted chicken thighs, in a chipotle vinaigrette.

Top with cheese. I thought we had white cheese at home, but alas. Sometimes you gotta make do.

Of course, we added pickled jalapenos.

And avocado slices, plus (for me only), a smear of mayonnaise.

I toasted these sandwiches in a dry skillet, pressing on the top, so that they got all crusty and gooey and delicious. You need to try them! We eat these with hot sauce (what don't we eat with hot sauce?), but other than that, they are good as is. If you are lucky enough to eat at Los Tortas Locos, you get a whole salsa bar to choose from. The peculiar homemaker was not feeling up to making a salsa bar this night, so hot sauce it was. And they liked it!

4 bolillas or hoagie buns--??--I'll just put my cost--$1.33
1/2 cup refried beans--$0.25
ham--I use the cheapest stuff here--$0.50
2 chicken thighs, roasted and shredded--on sale--$0.99/lb--$0.50
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup oil
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
shredded cheese, about 1/2 cup--on sale $2.50/16 oz--$0.31
pickled jalapeno slices, optional--$0.20
1 avocado, sliced--$1
mayonnaise (optional)

Mix vinegar, oil, salt, and chipotle until well combined. Toss chicken in this vinaigrette and allow to sit while you prepare the sandwiches. Slice buns. Spread top with mayo if desired. Layer bottom with refried beans, ham, chicken, cheese, and avocado. Top with jalapenos if desired. Toast sandwich in dry skillet until outside is crisp and slightly browned, cheese is melted, and the filling is warm.

Total cost for tortas --$4.09

Add half a bag of Kroger brand tortilla chips--$0.50--and you've got a great meal. Enjoy!

For more $5 meals, check out $ Lots of ideas, every week.

Bargain Meal of the Week

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