Mexican Style Molletes ~ Bacon, Black Beans and Chihuahua Cheese

Molletes, for me are one of those simple, but so delicious, Mexican recipes that can be prepared any time of the day. It’s a bolillo style roll, sliced in half lengthwise, slathered with refried beans, topped with Chihuahua cheese and cooked under the broiler. It’s that simple!  I was so excited to find a big bag of shredded Chihuahua cheese at the local market a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to prepare some molletes. Molletes are kind of like Mexico’s version of French bread pizza. The toppings are usually kept simple with just beans, cheese, ham and a fresh garnish of pico de gallo. For my recipe, I could not pass up a couple of slices of thick cut bacon. And instead of chopping up the pico de gallo, I decided to just slice all my fresh ingredients separately and garnish to taste. My would would always have these same garnishes anytime she would prepare tortas and well, this is kind of like an open faced torta with melted cheese, the best!!  I remember as a kid also enjoying a sweet version of a Mollete. It was the bolillo with a thick layer of butter and then sprinkled with sugar. A minute under the broiler and all that sugar caramelizes, wow! I think I may need to prepare some of those soon. I love how one found ingredient inspires a tasty dish and brings back a flood of wonderful family memories.  

Molletes topped with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese.
Molletes topped with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese.



Ingredients 
* I prefer to make my own version of refried beans than using store bought
1 1/2 cups black or pinto beans, cooked
1 roma tomato, quartered
1 quarter small white onion
1 serrano, chopped
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups black or pinto beans
Oil of your choice (I used 1 tablespoon of pork lard)
1 cup homemade salsa
8 strips cooked , crispy bacon
1 cup Chihuahua cheese, shredded
2 Mexican bolillo rolls or Portuguese style rolls

Was excited to find shredded Chihuahua cheese at my local market.
Was excited to find shredded Chihuahua cheese at my local market.

 

Mollete with thick cut crispy bacon and some cheese, lol! This was my husbands, emphasis on the bacon!
Mollete with thick cut crispy bacon and some cheese, lol! This was my husbands, emphasis on the bacon!

For Garnish
1 avocado, sliced
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
white onion, thinly sliced
Jalapeño or serrano pepper, thinly sliced
Cilantro, chopped

Directions 

1. Preheat 1 tablespoon of oil (your choice) to medium heat in medium skillet. In the blender, combine the tomato, onion, serrano and pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Add to skillet along with beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. Remove from heat.

2. Preheat broiler on high for a few minutes. Split the rolls in half, lengthwise. Line a baking sheet with foil paper and spread out the rolls cut side up. Spread each roll with beans, salsa, 2 strips of bacon and Chihuahua cheese.

3. Cook under the broiler until cheese is nice and bubbly with a few brown spots. Remove from oven and garnish with avocado, tomato, onion, chile slices and cilantro. Yields 4 servings.

Mexican Style Molletes with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese
Mexican Style Molletes with black beans, thick cut bacon and Chihuahua cheese

Leftovers Reinvented~ Steak and Shrimp Parpardelle

Steak and Shrimp Parpardelle. During  the winter I like to prepare extra soups and stews to store in my freezer for easy quick night meals. And during the summer or warm weather months I have adapted that same concept, but with my favorite grilled meats, seafood and vegetables. It takes a little planning ahead, but we will usually grill once a week and I take advantage and grill several foods for future meals. They surprisingly hold up very well in the refrigerator for the whole week. My foods of choice to grill are chicken, steak, shrimp and all kinds of vegetables. I can grill a one pound steak, slice it thin and create several “tapas” style dishes. I have to admit this works well for when there are only two mouths to feed. I often hear friends complain that they have a difficult time cooking for two people. This method has worked out really well for us. Some our favorite reinvented dishes are tacos, salads, pasta dishes and sandwiches. It makes the dinner prep so much easier when all you have to do is make a salad, cook up some pasta  or chop some fresh ingredients for pico de gallo. Even more fun than developing new recipes, is reinventing leftovers! Grilling with purpose!

 

Steak and Shrimp Parpardelle. Getting creative with leftovers.
Steak and Shrimp Parpardelle. Getting creative with leftovers.

*I have several recipes for grilled steak and shrimp on the Hispanic Kitchen site and a few new ones on my own blog as well. Don’t forget to check out my boards on Pinterest too!


4  ounces cooked parpadelle pasta (about 3 cups)
Olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 to 1/4 cup white wine
*you can add chicken broth instead of the wine
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces grilled steak, sliced thin
8 extra large grilled shrimp
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1 to 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Parpardelle Pasta, Fresh Herbs from my garden, Lemon Zest, Butter, Garlic, Pepper Flakes....

1. Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and chile pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes.

2. Add butter, white wine, zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat slightly and let sauce reduce and for 5 minutes. 

3. Using tongs, toss in the steak, shrimp and pasta. Drizzle in a little more olive oil and heat just until warm. Fold in the fresh herbs before serving. Serve right away. Yields 2 servings.

Grilled meats, seafood and vegetables add so much flavor to any pasta dish
Grilled meats, seafood and vegetables add so much flavor to any pasta dish

Iron Skillet Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese

Iron Skillet Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese. Preparing homemade mac n cheese in my house is a rare, but tasty occurence! Any recipe that involves more than one cup of cheese, according to my husband, is way too much cheese, LOl!  You have to understand that Richard has worked in a large cheese producing factory for the past 33 years. He threatens to tell me the truth behind the cheese  someday, but for now I will enjoy  what I can, ha ha ha!! Recently, he was taking some time off of work and I asked him for a few suggestions on dinner ideas. I was shocked when I heard the words “mac n cheese” come out of his mouth! But, there was a catch. The catch was that he would love to try it, only if I added thick cut bacon and chipotle peppers. These are two of his favorite foods. Before he could even finish talking, I was pulling ingredients out of the pantry. It just so happened that I found this awesome Mexican Chihuahua cheese at the market a few days before. It was a win, win situation!! Let’s just say, that Richard enjoyed 4 out of the 6 servings from the Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese recipe. Cheese lovers unite!! LOl!

 

Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese Prepared with Whole Grain Penne Pasta
Bacon Chipotle Mac n  Cheese Prepared with Whole Grain Penne Pasta


8 strips of thick cut bacon, chopped
5 cups penne pasta, cooked according to package
*I used whole grain pasta
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, minced
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons hot sauce (Texas Pete or Franks)
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon annatto powder, optional (used mostly for color)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Chihuahua cheese or Monterey jack, shredded
1 1/2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon crushed Mexican oregano

 

Smoky Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Chihuahua & Mozzarella Cheese with Spicy Smoky Chipotle
Smoky Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Chihuahua & Mozzarella Cheese with Spicy Smoky Chipotle
A classic bechamel sauce preperation with a mexican twist! Tha addition of the annatto powder adds a great color.
A classic bechamel sauce preperation with a mexican twist! Tha addition of the annatto powder adds a great color.
Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese Before Adding Breadcrumbs
Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese Before Adding Breadcrumbs

 

Directions 
*Just a quick, but important note. I prepared this recipe using one cast iron skillet, besides the pot I cooked the pasta in. 

1. In a the skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain onto a plate lined with paper towels. Drain all of the grease leaving just 1 tablespoon. Reserve the bacon grease. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and all of the sliced onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Turn the heat to medium/low on onions and continue cooking until caramelized. This could take up to 30 minutes and you need to stir often. While doing this, you could cook your pasta according to package directions, drain, rinse in cold water and drizzle with a little olive oil so it does not stick.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove onions from skillet onto a plate, set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to skillet and 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Whisk in 2 1/2 tablesppons of flour and cook for a few minutes.

4. Whisk in the milk until there are no more lumps. To the milk, you are going to add all of the ingredients in the order listed minus the cheese. Cook on medium/low until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat, add 1 cup mozzarella and 1 cup Chihuahua cheese and stir just until melted.

5. Fold in the cooked pasta, half of the bacon and half of the caramelized onions. Top with remaining cheese, bacon and onions. In a bowl, mix panko with 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon grease and oregano. Spread the breadcrumbs evenly over mac n cheese. Loosely cover with foil paper and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook under the broiler just until breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let mac n cheese rest for 15 minutes before serving. Yields 6 servings.

Cast Iron Skillet Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese
Iron Skillet Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese
Cast Iron Skillet Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese
Iron Skillet Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese
Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese
Bacon Chipotle Mac n Cheese