Hot Savory Sandwiches: Pambazos
Every region of Mexico has its own beloved street foods, and pambazos seem to be especially favored in parts of Puebla and Veracruz. Although the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows falls on a meatless Lenten Friday, pambazos are still enjoyed, with many vendors substituting quesillo- string cheese- for the chicken. The savory sauce that drenches the rolls, and the sliced avocado and onion garnishes, make these more than just ordinary sandwiches. Along with a salad, they make a good light supper. Pambazos are softer than regular Mexican bolillos, so use bread rolls, sometimes known as peasant bread, rather than French rolls. The sauce may be frozen in small containers for quick meals as needed.
Ingredients for the pambazos:
- 8 soft rolls, split and hollowed out slightly
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded, or shredded Oaxaca or string cheese
- 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
- 1 large white onion, sliced into thin rings
- 1 recipe pambazo sauce, below
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 1 pound plum tomatoes
- 2 ½ ounces guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole allspice berries
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ stick cinnamon
- ½ medium white onion, peeled and grated
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 ½ tablespoons corn oil
- salt to taste
Make the sauce by placing the tomatoes, chiles and spices in a medium saucepan with water just to cover. Boil until the tomatoes are soft, liquefy in a blender, push through a sieve or food mill, and set aside.
Heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened. Add strained tomato mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Assemble the sandwiches by filling the rolls with the chicken or cheese, ladling warm sauce over all, and topping with the avocado and onion.
Makes 8 sandwiches.