Gav Martell: He’s in the Kitchen


Pambazos: Mexican Fried Eggplant Sandwich Recipe

The vegetarian Mexican street food that you need to have in your belly

I'm not sure how you say orgasm in Spanish. But I'm going to assume it's 'Pambazos.' I learned about this Mexican street food a few years ago on Serious Eats and have been waiting for an opportunity to make it ever since. A sinfully delicious vegetarian combo of refried beans mixed with spicy and flavour-packed chili in adobo sauce, layered with home-roasted pablano peppers, fried eggplant, lettuce, and avocado... smothered with red enchilada sauce and finally grilled in a panini press. Absolute pallet-pleasing ecstasy. 
Now, I knew you all would get upset if I made this sandwich difficult to replicate so I kept it as simple as possible by buying the eggplant already made, and really only taking any effort to roast the peppers and pickle the onions. NOT hard. NOT time consuming. But oh-my-goodness... so incredibly worth the effort. You have to try these out!
2 medium poblano peppers
12 pieces breaded and fried eggplant
2 cups vegetarian refried beans
3 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3 teaspoons maple syrup
4 kaiser rolls
Pickled red onions (recipe below)
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup red enchilada sauce
For the pickled onions:
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup ice water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 to 3 dashes hot sauce
1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
 To make the pickled onions: Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and the hot sauce in a bowl. Add the sliced onion and let sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Drain.
 Place poblano peppers directly over flame of a gas burner and cook, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, broil as close as you can get to broiler element, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly in plastic wrap, and set aside. Once cooled, peel charred skin from poblano peppers, remove stems and seeds, and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch strips.
 In a small bowl, combine refried beans, chipotle peppers, and syrup. Stir with a fork until combined. Cover and heat in an oven set to 200F while you continue to prep your sandwich components.
 To assemble sandwiches, split rolls in half. Spread bean mixture evenly over bottom halves. Top with pepper strips, fried eggplant, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, and cilantro. Spread sliced avocados evenly on cut-side of top half of rolls. Close sandwiches, pressing down gently to compress.
 Place enchilada sauce in a small bowl and use a bbq or pastry brush to paint top half of kaiser with enchilada sauce. Transfer to a panini press and grill until toasted and sauce is lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Check out my first YMC post ever — another panini favourite!
Makes 4 sandwiches
Adapted from Serious Eats