[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Ham and eggs is a very common torta filling in Mexico, and for a good reason. The salty slices bring texture and loads of porkiness to the game, while the eggs help bulk it out. But you know what is crispier and more intense than ham? That's right. Bacon. Any bacon will do, but this recipe really benefits from some extra thick slices. Another plus side of bacon is that you can cook everything in the wonderful fat left over from the cooking process. I even added a bit of it to the refried beans, which rounds them out nicely.

I know most people would call for a fried egg or two here, but I'm going with classic scrambled eggs. I love puncturing egg yolks as much as the next guy, but I think all the pleasure is lost on a torta like this, because the bread soaks up most of the yolk. Plus, it's messier and fussier to prepare. If none of my opinions resonate, though, by all means go ahead and top these with a couple of fried eggs. I won't mind.

To help bring all the components together, sliced avocado is usually placed on top. But I like taking the extra step and making a quick guacamole. You can spice yours up with jalapeños or even pickled jalapeños, but I went with a canned chipotle, which adds a great smoky background to each bite.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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