Spiced Beef & Pickled Onion Tortas with Cara Cara Orange, Radish & Romaine Salad

Spiced Beef & Pickled Onion Tortas

with Cara Cara Orange, Radish & Romaine Salad

Group Created with Sketch. 45 min
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    4 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 730 Cals/serving

Tonight, our tortas (or Mexican-style sandwiches) layer boldly seasoned slices of beef, tangy pickled onion and melty Monterey Jack onto soft rolls. When pressed with a heavy pot as they cook on the stove, their flavors and textures meld deliciously. On the side, our salad of crisp romaine and radish gets a seasonal lift from cara cara orange—a type of navel orange with ruby-tinged flesh and sweet notes of red berry.

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Thinly slice the cheese. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; thinly slice the leaves crosswise. Cut off and discard the rinds and white pith of the oranges; large dice. Cut off and discard the ends of the radishes; thinly slice into rounds.

Pickle the onion:
2 Pickle the onion:

In a small pot, combine the onion, sugar, vinegar, a big pinch of salt and ¼ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Reserving the pickling liquid, drain the pickled onion.

Cook the beef:
3 Cook the beef:

While the onion pickles, using your hands, separate the sliced beef; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and the spice blend; toss to coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on high until hot. Working in 2 batches, add the seasoned beef in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until just cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

Assemble the tortas:
4 Assemble the tortas:

Place the rolls on a clean, dry work surface. Top the roll bottoms with the cheese, cooked beef (including any liquid from the plate), as much of the pickled onion as you'd like (you may have extra onion) and ¼ of the romaine (reserving the rest). Season with salt and pepper. Complete the tortas with the roll tops.

Cook the tortas:
5 Cook the tortas:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium until hot. (If the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.) Add the tortas. Place a heavy pot (or pan) on top of the tortas to press them down. Cook, occasionally pressing down on the pot, 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and slightly flattened. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half on an angle.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the oranges, radishes, remaining romaine and 2 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the sliced tortas and salad between 4 plates. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

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Get This Recipe Delivered
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Thinly slice the cheese. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; thinly slice the leaves crosswise. Cut off and discard the rinds and white pith of the oranges; large dice. Cut off and discard the ends of the radishes; thinly slice into rounds.

2 Pickle the onion:

In a small pot, combine the onion, sugar, vinegar, a big pinch of salt and ¼ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Reserving the pickling liquid, drain the pickled onion.

Pickle the onion:
Cook the beef:
3 Cook the beef:

While the onion pickles, using your hands, separate the sliced beef; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and the spice blend; toss to coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on high until hot. Working in 2 batches, add the seasoned beef in a single layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until just cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

4 Assemble the tortas:

Place the rolls on a clean, dry work surface. Top the roll bottoms with the cheese, cooked beef (including any liquid from the plate), as much of the pickled onion as you'd like (you may have extra onion) and ¼ of the romaine (reserving the rest). Season with salt and pepper. Complete the tortas with the roll tops.

Assemble the tortas:
Cook the tortas:
5 Cook the tortas:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium until hot. (If the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil.) Add the tortas. Place a heavy pot (or pan) on top of the tortas to press them down. Cook, occasionally pressing down on the pot, 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until browned and slightly flattened. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half on an angle.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the oranges, radishes, remaining romaine and 2 tablespoons of the reserved pickling liquid. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the sliced tortas and salad between 4 plates. Enjoy!

Make the salad & serve your dish: