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Molletes

This is the Mexican equivalent to the American grilled cheese or turkey sandwich, an everyday treat you throw together with what’s left in the fridge. In Mexico, that’s beans, cheese, and salsa. Though molletes are available in restaurants, they’re definitely best made at home, when you can make sure to properly butter and toast the bread, add the right amount of beans and cheese, then melt that queso under the broiler.–Roberto Santibañez

LC Spanish Lesson Note

Seeing this recipe sorta makes us wish we’d taken Spanish and not French in high school. Still, though we may not know how to pronounce this insanely satiating comfort food fix, we’ve certainly mastered tucking into it. We’ve also mastered scaling it down to make just one. You know, for emergencies.

Molletes Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large rolls, preferably teleras, Portuguese, kaiser, or ciabatta, split
  • 1/4 cup (or a little more) refried beans, either pinto or black
  • 6 ounces Chihuahua cheese or provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Pico de Gallo or salsa

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 500°F (260°C).
  • 2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat until it’s nice and hot. Spread the butter over the cut sides of the roll halves. Place the rolls, cut sides down, in the skillet and let them go, untouched, until lightly golden brown and crisp, which ought to take just a minute or so.
  • 3. Spread a thin layer of beans over the toasted side of each roll. Top with a thin layer of cheese. Place the molletes in the oven just until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown in a few spots, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • 4. Serve the molletes immediately and pass the Pico de Gallo or salsa on the side.
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