When he's not battling the flames of Southern California's notorious fires or traveling to shoot his "Firehouse Chefs" series, Eddie Sell, a firefighter for 17 years and now captain of Long Beach Firehouse No. 7, is in the kitchen cooking Latin cuisine. "Tortas are Mexican sandwiches that can be filled with steak, chicken, pork or even veggies," he explains. "In this version, I use fresh, local shrimp, and punch it up with chipotle and pale ale."
- 1 bottle Sierra Nevada pale ale
- 3 pounds shrimp, shelled, deveined and tails removed
- 6 bolillos (Mexican bread rolls)
- 1 onion, diced medium
- 1 red bell pepper, diced medium
- 1 anaheim or pasilla pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced small
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 head lettuce, shredded
- 4 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup queso fresco (Mexican cheese), crumbled or grated
- refried black or pinto beans (homemade or canned)
- fresh salsa, guacamole or hot sauce (optional)
• In a large skillet, heat oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, peppers, salt and black
pepper and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables soften slightly. Add the chipotle pepper, garlic and honey, and sauté 1 minute more. Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn pink and curl up.
• Deglaze the skillet with the lime juice and 1⁄2 of the beer; stir and cook 1 minute, being careful not to overcook. Remove the skillet from heat and transfer the shrimp mixture to a large platter or baking sheet to cool slightly.
• Slice the bolillo bread in half. Brush the bread with butter or olive oil, and toast on a grill,
in a dry skillet or under a low broiler.
• To build the torta, add warm, refried beans to the bottom slice of bread and top with queso fresco. Add a layer of shrimp, then finish with lettuce, tomato and other traditional fixings such as hot sauce, salsa or guacamole; top the stack with the second slice of bread and serve.