When Baltimore’s own Gateway to Hell came on board to do our sixth episode of Supersonic Kitchen, I started the process of developing a recipe specifically for them. I started thinking devils and pentagrams, spicy and bold…this led to peppers and adventurous flavors. I started thinking Mexican food, fiery, day of the dead type stuff!
One of my absolute favorite sandwiches of all time is called a Pambazo. It is an iconic delight quite often served in the streetside stalls of Mexico City. A Pambazo is typically stuffed with chorizo con papas (potatoes!), beans, fresh Mexican cheese, and then the whole sandwich is dipped in a puree of guajillo peppers, then seared on a flat top griddle. It is a unique flavor experience that just might blow you away! Like the bombastic, doom ridden, melodic thundering of Gateway to Hell’s music!
I wanted to serve this sandwich to the boys, but logistically, the basement we were going to film in didn’t offer the amenities I needed to pull that off. I started thinking of a pie that I could make that would have all the traditional ingredients of a Pambazo, and it was on! It was then I found out Gateway’s drummer was a vegetarian. It was like the proverbial needle scratch, and resounding , “What!?” I wasn’t going to change course, so I knew I just had to make two versions of this flavorful pie! Had I known in advance how awesome the vegetarian version was going to be, I would’ve just made that!
I decided to make two versions of the same pie. To make that happen, I used veggie stock, and vegetarian beans in both. Actually, the only ingredient different between the two is the chorizo. The meat version contains standard Mexican pork chorizo. For the vegetarian version, I used a soy based chorizo with no pork! The recipe can be followed as written for either pie, just swap out a meatless version of chorizo. Widely available, I used the version from Trader Joe’s, and it was absolutely packed with flavor and fantastic. The meat eaters in the band had a hard time believing this was a vegetarian dish. Guitarist Alex even went so far as to say it was the best vegetarian dish he’d ever had. Score!!
I made the pies at home. Now, clearly I couldn’t “dip” the pies in the guajillo, so I “painted” the inside of the crust with the puree underneath the layer of beans. When the pies came out of the oven, I painted a pentagram with the guajillo puree on the meat version and scarlet lettered the meatless version with a big “V”! I packed ‘em up, and drove to Gateways’ practice space. What a treat it was hanging out with these dudes. Check ‘em out. Their music is rock solid, heavy duty, with deep, dark grooves. Enjoy the episode, enjoy the recipe!
Here’s to music, here’s to food \m/!!!
Pambazo Pot Pie!
1 1/2 ounce dried Guajillo peppers (soft and pliable, not dry and brittle) stemmed and seeded, torn into one inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
1 1/2 cups water
1 16 ounce can vegetarian refried beans
1 lb Chorizo (fresh Mexican style, NOT cured Spanish style, super different) Sub the meatless chorizo and this entire recipe becomes vegetarian
1 Tbl vegetable oil
1 lb home fried potatoes (the bag from the deli section near the BACON! We're gonna deep fry. If you don't have the ability or desire to deep fry, dice a pound of taters 1/2 inch, toss in a little oil, salt, and pepper...roast at 400 degrees until crispy and browned) 1 tsp ground cumin (for the pie filling) and a few extra shakes for the taters 2 Tbl tomato paste
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 Tbl flour
2 Tbl cilantro leaves
4oz fresh Mexican cheese, such as Oaxaca, Queso Fresco, or even soft whole milk mozzarella works great
1 Package (2 rounds) refrigerated pie crust, thawed to room temperature\
1 cup sour cream
1 chipotle pepper and 1 Tbl adobo sauce from can
Sliced jalapeno peppers, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges for serving
Place torn Guajillo peppers along with 2 cloves of garlic into heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over, make sure peppers are submerged. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Allow to steep for a few hours until soft. After softening up, gently dump peppers, garlic, and soaking water into jar of a blender, add a tsp of kosher salt, and puree until smooth. Pour into bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.
Let's start working on the pie filling now. Heat oil into large skillet over medium heat. Crumble chorizo into hot skillet, cook breaking up into small pieces, add 1 tsp of ground cumin meat and stir around. Meanwhile, deep fry potatoes in 350 degree deep fryer (or roast, as mentioned above). When potatoes are crisp, remove from oil, drain in paper towel lined bowl and sprinkle a few shakes of ground cumin over them. Set aside. Add 2 Tbl tomato paste to chorizo, stir around circle pit style to incorporate. Sprinkle flour evenly around and stir for a minute or so. Slowly pour in stock and stir until mixture starts to thicken. Dump potatoes into skillet and stir everything together. You should have a nice, thick, pie filling at this point.
Spray a glass pie dish down with pan coating spray or use a nonstick pie pan. Unroll first pie round and gently place into pie pan. Form along bottom and sides, bunching up near the top. Take a brush and "paint" the inside of the pie crust with the guajillo puree, bottom and sides. Warm up your beans just a touch to make them softer and more spreadable. Spread the beans along the bottom of the pie crust. Top completely with all of the pie filling, spread around, gently pressing down in a smooth layer. Top with small, quarter size chunks of cheese evenly along the top of the filling. Spread cilantro leaves along the top. Unfold the second pie round and gently place over the whole thing. Crimp the edges of both pie rounds together. It doesn't have to be perfect, in fact, it looks more rustic when it's not! Poke several holes in top crust for steam to escape. Bake in oven about 40 minutes. If edge or top of crust starts to get too brown, cover with foil while you finish. When you have a perfect golden brown crust, and you see all ingredients start to bubble over, your pie is done! Take a temperature in the middle of the pie, if it's at 165 or more, you're golden! Remove pie from oven. While pie is smoking hot, paint the top of the crust with the guajillo puree. Allow pie to cool for 10 minutes or so before slicing. While pie cools, finely chop chipotle pepper. Fold into sour cream along with adobo liquid. Stir until well combined.
Slice pie into six equal slices. Serve individually, passing along fresh sliced jalapenos, avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, and chipotle sour cream! You will need cold beer with this monster pie. A cheap, ice cold lager works best!
Enjoy the pie, enjoy the episode, and go see a show!!!
Chef Jeremy Davis
Co-Producer, Camera, Editor
John Houser III
Photography by Rock N Roll Socialite