Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
Achiote-spiced pulled pork moves this classic grilled cheese into a flavor-packed signature sandwich.
Achiote-spiced pulled pork moves this classic grilled cheese into a flavor-packed signature sandwich.

By Rob Corliss
February 24, 2022

Sandwiches provide a wonderful platform to introduce and reimagine Mexican flavors. We’ve chosen three classics that work particularly well here: the grilled cheese, club sandwich and meatball sub. All offer versatility and familiarity and have permissible leeway with culinary exploration. Simple, bold Mexican flavors that set comfort cravings higher are a trend-forward way to elevate these fan-favorite sandwiches.

Luscious grilled cheese rises to new heights via a combination of Mexican-style cheeses, flavor-packed meats and blasts of heat. Club sandwiches layer on signature moves with Mexican flavorings and spreads—all while honoring a classic club feel. Meatball subs transform into insanely tasty comfort food via Mexican breads, meat blends, sauces and cheeses.

Utilize these examples to guide sandwich menu development and deliver the bold flavor and familiar comfort guests crave.

Mexican Fried Steak Grilled Cheese: Texas toast + Mexican breaded fried steak + refried beans + Chihuahua cheese + habanero-Jack cheese

Chicharrón Grilled Cheese: English muffin bread + pork rinds + chipotle Gouda cheese + asadero cheese + Cotija cheese

Carne Asada Grilled Cheese Slider: Mini brioche rolls + carne asada + Oaxaca cheese + roasted Serrano chiles

 

Smoked Ham n’ Candied Bacon Club: Toasted milk bread + smoked ham + jalapeño candied bacon + Chihuahua cheese + baby spinach leaves + sliced tomato + huitlacoche mayonnaise

Roast Beef n’ Chorizo Club: Toasted sourdough bread + roast beef + thin slices of dry-cured chorizo + asadero cheese + romaine + sliced tomato + poblano mayonnaise

Achiote Turkey n’ Ranch Bacon Club: Toasted potato bread + achiote turkey breast + ranch-seasoned bacon + manchego cheese + butter lettuce + sliced tomato + avocado requesón cheese spread

 

Taco Tamal Sub: Bolillo roll + tamal balls (corn masa dough filled with seasoned ground beef) rolled in taco seasoning + guajillo-tomato sauce + queso fresco crumbles

Meatballs Verde Sub: Bolillo roll + chicken/pork meatballs + fire-roasted tomatillo gravy + fried jalapeño rings + Cotija cheese crumbles

Drowned Chorizo Sub: Birote salado (Guadalajaran sourdough) soaked in chile de árbol jus + refried black beans + chorizo/beef meatballs in tomato sauce + raw minced onions + Oaxaca cheese shreds

 

FEATURED RECIPE

Similar to a birote salado, the pambazo features bread that’s soaked in flavor-rich sauce. Here, Chorizo and Potato Pambazos are dipped and fried in smoky guajillo sauce, and feature a filling of chorizo, potato, onion, scrambled egg and queso fresco.Photo credit: Smithfield Culinary

Similar to a birote salado, the pambazo features bread that’s soaked in flavor-rich sauce. Here, Chorizo and Potato Pambazos are dipped and fried in smoky guajillo sauce, and feature a filling of chorizo, potato, onion, scrambled egg and queso fresco.

GET THE RECIPE FOR CHORIZO AND POTATO PAMBAZOS

About The Author

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ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu. [email protected]