I wish I could spin a story about feasting on molletes during our trip to Mexico with the kids, but even though we ate like kings on the local fare, I can’t recall ever coming across the traditional dish of beans and cheese melted on bolillos.
I suppose molletes (pronounced: mo-YEH-tehs, alright?) are more of a comfort food in Northern Mexico, and we were in the state of Nayarit at the time. Nope, I didn’t grow up eating them either, unlike bolillos, instead, I discovered the idea on a wonderful little corner of the web written by Lisa of Homesick Texan.
Open-faced sandwiches? Piled high with refried beans and salsa, then topped with cheese and broiled? Everything about them sounded delicious – and I knew my burrito-loving children would likely echo my sentiments.
We first broiled up a batch of molletes after a brisk morning on the sledding hill behind our house and they disappeared off the tray before they even had a proper chance to cool. The edges of the rolls were crisp and shattered when we bit into them, but the interior of the mollete was soft and creamy, thanks to seasoned refried beans and a generous slice of avocado.
To make the molletes, I started with a recipe of homemade bolillos, those delightful crusty Mexican buns, but you could also substitute a whole wheat bun with a good crust, such as Kaisers or individual Ciabatta.
I almost always have a batch of Mexican ranch style beans in the freezer (they keep exceedingly well, preserved in their cooking liquid) and so I mashed them up in a cast iron skillet with a bit of oil, garlic powder and salt. I suppose everyone has their own method for refried beans, and if you don’t, may I suggest these homemade refried beans from Amber of Bluebonnet Baker. She knows her Tex-Mex!
Of course, it is perfectly fine to open up a can of refried beans, if that is all you have. It certainly is quick and this snack is supposed to be snappy. Top with cheese, sliced avocado and more cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.
Top molletes with salsa and creme fraiche or sour cream to really make them irresistible, and a pinch of alfalfa sprouts or shredded iceberg lettuce on top is great, too. Of course, if it were summertime, with an abundance of vine-ripened tomatoes, I’d be topping my molletes with homemade pico de gallo.
There you have it, a perfect Saturday lunch before hockey practice or an afternoon of sledding. I know I just gave you the recipe, but here’s the version to print. Let me know if you try molletes for yourself.
|Mexican Molletes (avocado, bean & cheese melts)|| |
- Preheat a broiler to 550F.
- Split the bolillos in two and arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread with butter. Place in the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes, or until the edges begin to crisp. Carefully remove from the oven.
- Divide the refried beans among the toasted bolillos, about 2 tablespoons each. Smash them down with the back of a fork. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the beans.
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Cut into quarters and peel off the skin. Slice each quarter into three sections. Place a slice of avocado on each bolillo bun.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese all over the avocado. Place under the broiler and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. Keep a close eye on the pan and do not walk away.
- Remove from oven and cool molletes slightly. Serve hot with sour cream, salsa and sprouts or lettuce.
New to Molletes? Try these next:
- Scrambled Egg Molletes :: Better Homes and Gardens
- Mollets with Salsa & Queso Oaxaca :: Saveur
- Chorizo Molletes with a fried egg :: The Chew
- Molletes with Mango-Basil Salsa (vegan) :: Holy Cow!
I realize this recipe is a bit of a stretch for seasonal eating, but avocado season in California begins in February. I’ve already noticed an improvement in the avocados I bring home. Also – homegrown alfalfa sprouts! Those are a welcome bit of green during a particularly winter-white month here in the North.
Here’s a round-up of seasonal eating inspiration from our group:
Tangerine Sorbet Champagne Floats by Completely Delicious
Chorizo & Brussels Sprouts Pasta Carbonara by Suitcase Foodist
Citrus, Fennel, and Avocado Salad by Flavor the Moments
Savory Dutch Baby with Roasted Broccoli by Floating Kitchen
Roasted Red Potatoes with Zahatar and Lemon by Project Domestication
Parsnip Hash Browns by Vintage Mixer
Greens and Potato Soup with Hominy and Pinto Beans by Letty’s Kitchen
Penne Pasta with Cauliflower and Pancetta by Foodie Crush
Rosemary Cheddar Cauliflower Cakes by Food for My Family
Creamed Brussel Sprout Tater Tot Casserole by Climbing Grier Mountain
Honey Mustard Citrus Chicken with Mango Chutney by Kitchen Confidante
Happy seasonal eating in February!