If you have a sandwich-loving dad, introduce him to a choripan for Father’s Day. A superstar of Argentine street food, the choripan (an amalgam of the words chorizo and pan, as in bread) is a simple grilled sausage sandwich dressed with tangy chimichurri sauce and sometimes other toppings, like the celery mayo here.
The cemita is another classic street-food sandwich, this time from Puebla, Mexico. Named for the slightly sweet, sesame-topped roll on which it’s made, a cemita features a crisp pan-fried cutlet (pork or chicken in the recipe here) dressed with avocado, onions, cheese, chilies, and herbs. With that combo, how can you, or Dad, go wrong?
Makes about 1 cup
1½ cups, packed, fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
1½ tablespoons pressed or grated garlic (about 6 or 7 medium cloves)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Roughly chop the parsley. In a food processor, process the parsley, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, vinegar, 1¼ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. With the feed tube open and the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Scrape the sauce into a bowl (you should have about 1 cup); taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper if necessary and serve on choripans. (Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days; return to room temperature and stir to re-blend before using.)
CELERY MAYONNAISE (MAYONESA DE APIO)
Makes about 1 generous cup
Use a rasp-style grater to grate the celery super fine.
3 large celery ribs, trimmed and strings
removed, plus 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery leaves or parsley
2/3 cup mayonnaise
¾ teaspoon pressed or grated garlic (about 1 medium-large clove)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper
Grate the celery finely. Place in fine-mesh strainer in sink and squeeze to release as much liquid as possible.
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, grated celery, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and serve on choripans. (Can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
Makes 4 sandwiches
Argentine chorizo often includes some beef along with the pork, paprika, garlic, nutmeg, and red wine. The closest approximation I found was chorizo from Vermont Smoke & Cure, available at many Whole Foods. Though it’s not true Argentine style (no beef), it contains red wine, garlic, and smoked paprika, and a friend who lived in Buenos Aires for years gives it a thumbs up. Sweet Italian sausages are also commonly used as a substitute. Sausages vary in size so you may want to use 1½ small sausages per sandwich.
Neutral oil, for the grill
4 to 6 fresh sweet Italian pork sausages (about 1¼ pounds) or Argentine chorizo
4 7-inch Italian-style or sub rolls, or lengths of light, crisp baguette, halved lengthwise and some of the interior crumb removed (to create a shallow trough in each half)
1 recipe Celery Mayonnaise
1 recipe Chimichurri Sauce
Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high. (If using gas, adjust burners to medium when cooking; grill with the lid closed.) Clean and oil the grill grate. Grill the sausages until cooked through if using fresh sausages or heated through and grill-marked for precooked (about 15 minutes for both), turning as necessary for even cooking. Transfer the sausages to a cutting board and cut them down the middle (not all the way through) to open like a book. Return to the grill cut sides down and continue cooking, undisturbed, until browned, about 5 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, lightly grill or toast the rolls, if desired. Spread 2 generous tablespoons of Celery Mayonnaise on each half. Place a sausage (plus a half, if needed), cut sides up, on each of 4 halves, and top with 2 to 4 tablespoons Chimichurri Sauce. Cut in half, if desired, and serve at once.
TIP: THINNING OUT YOUR ROLLS
Makes 4 sandwiches
Two common substitutions for uncommon Mexican ingredients put these sandwiches within easy reach. First, easy-to-find potato, challah, or brioche rolls all have a sweet flavor and tender texture similar to the sesame-topped Mexican rolls for which the sandwich is named. Second, cilantro is a fair substitute for papalo, the distinctly flavored Mexican herb used in cemitas.
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
½ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
½ cup flour
1½ teaspoons granulated garlic powder
1½ teaspoons chili powder
4 thin pork sirloin cutlets or boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (about 4 ounces each), pounded to about ¼ inch thick
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 ripe small Hass avocados, halved, pitted, and skin removed
4 cemita, potato, brioche or challah rolls
3 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chili in adobo sauce, plus 3 tablespoons of the sauce
2 cups fine strings of queso Oaxaca (about 5 ounces) or string cheese (about 8 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup, loosely packed, small cilantro sprigs (thin stems and leaves), roughly chopped In a small glass or ceramic bowl, stir the vinegar, 1/3 cup water, the sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt to dissolve. Add the onion, stir, and set aside to soften slightly, about 20 minutes. Drain, blot dry, and set aside.
With the rack in the lower-middle position, heat the oven to 200 degrees. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Take 3 shallow dishes such as pie plates. In the first dish, place the panko. In the second, beat the eggs and the 1 tablespoon olive oil until uniform. In the third, whisk the flour, garlic powder, and chili powder to mix.
One at a time, dredge cutlets thoroughly in flour mixture, shaking off the excess; dip in the egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off; and dredge both sides in the panko mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere in a thick, even layer.
In a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Arrange 2 cutlets in the skillet (make sure they don’t touch) and cook, undisturbed, until crisp and deep golden brown on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes (the oil should bubble around the cutlets gently). Gently turn them over and continue to cook until crisp and deep golden brown on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Carefully remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, transfer to the rack on the baking sheet, and place in the oven to keep the cutlets warm. Cook and drain the remaining 2 cutlets.
Lightly mash an avocado half onto each of the 4 bottom roll halves. Top with a generous 2 teaspoons chipotle chili and adobo sauce (using some of the extra) and a cutlet. On each cutlet mound ½ cup cheese; top each with a portion of the pickled onion and about ¼ cup cilantro. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and place roll tops on sandwiches. Cut in half, if desired, and serve at once.Adam Ried appears regularly on “America’s Test Kitchen.” Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.