This molletes is really more something you commit to memory than it is a recipe. It’s just refried beans on toast smothered with cheese and broiled until bubbly. Essentially Mexican grilled cheese.
Molletes. They’re the Mexican equivalent of the American grilled cheese. Essentially, it’s stuff that you scrounge from the fridge, and in Mexico, that’s typically beans, cheese, and salsa. And it makes an insanely satiating comfort food fix any time of day. But lest you think this is a no-brainer, there’s an art to it, including properly toasting and buttering the bread, adding just the right amount of beans and cheese, and then carefully melting that queso under the broiler until golden and bubbly. And as you probably already surmised, although this recipe makes ample to serve you and a few others, it can easily be scaled down to make just one. You know, for emergencies.–Renee Schettler
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) 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
- Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 500°F (260°C).
- 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.
- Serve the molletes immediately and pass the Pico de Gallo or salsa on the side.
*What is chihuahua cheese?A Mexican semi-soft cheese made from cow's milk, queso Chihuahua has a semi-firm texture with a pale yellow color. Its mild, buttery taste and meltability make it perfect for use in molletes. The author recommends substituting provolone if you can't find Chihuahua. A mix of mozzarella and white cheddar will also give you a good approximation of meltiness and flavor.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
There are times when you need something more than a grilled cheese sandwich. A mollete is what you eat during those times. With a fried egg, this’d be the perfect breakfast antidote to cure your ails from the night before (you know where I’m going, don’t you?). I’ve made these a few times and found that toasting the rolls until they’re lightly golden brown is key–any darker and they just get too crispy from their time in the broiler, so keep a close eye on them. Chihuahua cheese can be difficult to find in my area so I used a shredded Mexican blend and it worked nicely.
Delicious, very simple, and comforting snack or lunch. I really like the combination of beans and cheese with the salsa. Would be nice with some sliced avocado on top as well. As much as I love butter, I’m not sure it was necessary here and would’ve been okay with just the beans, cheese, and salsa. Quick and very satisfying! I used provolone, which was tasty, but I’d try experimenting with different cheese next time.
Originally published January 16, 2013