Monday, August 15, 2011

The Torta Bauce -- Warning -- EXPLICIT Food Lyrics

Warning: You might have thought you knew what comfort food was before you opened this, but you would be wrong.  Dead Effing Wrong.  And if you were to follow this recipe (you'd make your kitchen your Bitch), you'd realize this and immediately go insane with denial, consummate love, and wonder just like I did.  Don't say I didn't properly inform you!  Oh and, send your thanks in the form of monies (so's I can continue to make this all day, everyday) and/or pictures of your own adventures in making this (I would request samples, but they wouldn't make it here fast enough).  Make sure to include facial pleasure expressions while chewing, muchas gracias.  *wink*

Something my sister Hollie introduced me to a little while ago is Foodgawker.  I totally bow to her in thanks for this discovery, but I also say, "Youdammit!" for creating an addict out of me.  I know I was innocent once...nevermore.  Want to experience True Pornography?  Go to this site and Try not to get a Mind/Stomach Boner over how delicious every single food portrait is, or how amazing it is that this thing called The Internet allows you to then immediately access the instructions in which to make that tempting dream a reality, in your mouth and all down the front of your shirt as it should be.

  I peruse this site for hours, drooling and licking my lips at the blatant NomNom eroticism, and obsessing over what my pantry and fridge contain that would allow me to "scratch the itch."  It's safe to say that I have a problem...  Not that I overeat, but that I fantasize about eating and creating food, eating in my imagination and never getting full...okay so, maybe that sounds a bit weird but I wouldn't judge You for it and I certainly feel I can control this...*twitch*

  Also I must add, my husband and I watch waaaaaaay too much 'Man v. Food' on the Travel Channel.  Adam Richman makes food adventures all the more appealing with his humor and warm personality.  And the premise is such a pure guilty pleasure; consume huge portions of a multitude of decadent deliciousness with large groups of cheering fans in the endless depths of the overindulgent American restaurant.  I normally loathe our country for it's plump greedy paws, and yet, I Adore This Show.  Call it what you will -- Hypocrisy -- but it's just damn enjoyable.  I need this not, but I can't resist it!  It doesn't help that I watch this show or scan the food porn when I'm hungry, but it also doesn't make a difference in how full I feel even while watching it and eating...I just Stay hungry.  Given this, we watch it only a few times (a day) a week.

  So there I was last night, sprawled across the couch with my left hand perched atop my belly and the right scrolling through the pages upon filthy pages of food porn.  When what do I see?  A featured photo that strikes me as so familiar and realize how it resembles a featured dish on 'Man v. Food.'

  The show traveled to Butte, Montana for an episode that featured a state staple; the Pasty.  I remember watching this episode and wishing I were there to experience this scrumptiously unique mixture of meat, potato, cheese and PASTRY, most of the time smothered in chili or gravy.  The Pasty was developed in order to provide one big hearty meal in the convenient containment of a pastry shell so that mess could be avoided and utensils would not be necessary, making lunch portable for the hard laborers of the community.  As the generations continued, the Pasty became heralded as a state specialty and a family favorite.  Many versions were constructed over the years and yet the originals have still held true to their delectable simplicity.  I've been desiring the Pasty since I first saw this episode and wish very much to one day experience the Real Thing in Butte, Montana.

  One of the featured photos on Foodgawker led me to this Layered Pastry recipe.  This recipe seemed to replicate the idea of the Pasty; it's filling and construction especially.  Today, among my many kitchen-y projects in preparation for the coming work week, I decided that this would be our dinner. You could say I had a, "GET DIS IN MUH BELL-AY!" state-of-mind, which is loud and confrontational until said Bell-ay is satisfied.  How exciting that I don't have to wait to visit Montana in order to experience this (for Now)! I only have to be patient enough to prepare and construct it properly (and that's Hard enough after waiting even this long).

  Prepping the pastry itself, my thoughts turned to the savory stuffing I would be layering with the crepes.  Suddenly I was struck with the need for spice.  While spice would still blend so beautifully with what the recipe already calls for, my imagination got the best of me.  Glancing at the pinto beans I already had boiling in chicken stock on the stove, I realized what I wanted; Mexican Savory filling.  Not only would I be cooking and shredding chicken, but I would sizzle it in the pan with some Chorizo!  The potatoes wouldn't be alone, they'd be lovingly folded with beans, pickled jalapenos, onions, and garlic.  I could just taste the melted cheese layered with the velvet crepes....I was convinced, and I would not be sorry for the experimentation!  This just might be considered a Torta of sorts!

  Understandably, you might be concerned (based on the Layered Pastry recipe directions) about just how much goes into that there deliciousness and/or how much time it takes.  Weeeel, considering this was my first time attempting such a thing, and my alterations to it, it took a total of 2 hrs.  Don't let this overwhelm you. These felt like two of the most enjoyable hours I've ever spent cooking.  And the sense of anticipation and accomplishment far overshadowed it's daunting potential.  Dare I say you'll actually develop a sense of having Pwn'd your kitchen and the limitless universe of food?  Hmmm?  If that isn't tempting enough then go back to ordering that shitty pizza...

  Shall the brave and ambitious continue?  Yes they Shall!

  I have deemed this culinary adventure:

Torta Bauce

The Outer Pastry 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1 egg beaten with a bit of water
1/2 cup butter

- Use your hands to blend the flour, salt, bp, sugar and butter in a large bowl until it resembles cornmeal.  Stir in the egg/water and add only enough water to knead dough into a smooth, pliable ball.  Leave well formed dough ball in bowl and refrigerate for 30 mins.

- At 30 mins, roll out to 1/4" and carefully spread it over a med-large baking dish.  I used a 10" round ceramic deep dish but feel free to use a 9x13" rectangular dish.  This is quite the Big Bertha, so just make sure your dish is deep enough and plenty sturdy.

The Filling
1 tbsp olive oil
5 boneless, skinless chicken tenders or 2 breasts thawed
2 small links chorizo
3 med/small red potatoes, peeled and cut into smaller cubes
1 cup cooked pinto beans
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pickled or fresh jalapenos
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Spices De Vida(L)  (family patented spices, inquire to purchase:)
2 tbsps tomato cooking base
2 tbsps cilantro cooking base
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar/jack)
1 tbsp milk

Over med-high heat, drizzle oil in large skillet. Add chicken and chorizo, season with spices. Once cooked, allow to cool for 10 mins before chopping/shredding. 

While chicken/chorizo is cooking, boil potatoes for 12 mins or until very tender.  Mash and add to skillet. 

Rinse and drain beans (I boiled mine from a dry state ahead of time in chicken stock, much better if you have the time!), add to skillet. 

Pulse garlic, onion and jalapenos in processor and add to skillet. Stir in tomato and cilantro bases, blend all ingredients gently yet thoroughly.  

The Crepes
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg slightly beaten (reserve 1 tbsp for outer eggwash)
As much water as needed. 
 - Combine flour, salt and egg.  Run your tap water to a very thin stream and hold your bowl and its contents underneath it to receive as much water as is needed, stirring constantly to a thick batter you can easily pour.
 - Over medium-low heat, spread thin a few tbsps worth of batter in a small skillet and flip after several seconds to evenly cook both sides of crepe. DO NOT leave crepes unattended, they will Burn quickly! Seriously, you'll have them all cooked in a couple of minutes so have some patience, dammit.
 - Transfer to a plate to cool. Yields 5-7 crepes.

The Construction
 With your outer pastry spread into and hanging over edges of your baking dish, spoon about a half cup of the filling into the center of the pastry, no wider circumference than an appetizer dish.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of shredded cheese over filling and cover with a crepe layer. Repeat these layers until you've exhausted the crepes, filling and cheese.

Bring the outer edges of the pastry together over the center of your layers.  Pinch and press the dough together gently without stretching/ripping your tender shell.  Place hand over center and Carefully turn entire torta out into your hand. Place it round-side-up back in the dish as pictured below so that the seams are pressed to the bottom of the dish.

Whisk the leftover tbsp of egg with the tbsp of milk. With a soft pastry brush (I use silicone), paint the top and all sides you can.  Drip the remaining egg wash around the edge of the pastry so it can run down to bottom of the dish.

I created this contradiction while I contains liquor too!
Sorry Coke, you have have curves in all the right places, but Pepsi has the substance I adore!

Bake at 375 for 25-35 mins until the pastry is a beautiful buttery golden tone. Allow to cool and slice off your slab, taking care not to scarf it and choke...because this is a Real possibility people!
Doesn't just the sight of this give you the warm and fuzzies?

More scrumptious than I ever thought possible...It defies all logic...
  I honestly hope this brings joy to your mouth and tummy and creates a little niche in your brain for comfort food and the many ways you can bring it about.  I give thanks to the host of Torview Toronto Blog for sharing their recipe.  Go enjoy some savory pastry and remind your tastebuds of just how much you love them...oh and, that Mind/Stomach Boner?  Yea, I'm pretty confident you'll carry that torch for the Torta Bauce for a long time to come. *grin*  You're Welcome!


  1. This was a very entertaining read and I am entertained. I even giggled once.

  2. This was very derricious. I am glad I ate this. It will be a privilege to shit it out.