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Dinner Tonight: Panuchos Yucatecos con Chorizo

The last time I had this dish I was in the middle of Cancun, Mexico, far from the run of beachfront tourist hotels. I found this little restaurant in the city center serving panuchos, fried tortillas filled with black beans, and topped with meat and pickled red onions. I couldn't believe I'd never heard of this dish before. The tortilla was crisp, but the insides were creamy from the black beans. Sort of like a tostada but way more delicate.

For some help in recreating the dish I turned to Rick Bayless' incredible Authentic Mexico. The only remotely difficult part of the dish is getting the tortillas to puff up in the center so you can separate them into two sections. Just take your time. The hole the filling goes through doesn't have to be that big. The tortillas should separate. If they don't, use a small sharp knife to pry them apart.

Though it's more authentic to top these with chicken, chorizo is what I had on hand. All that's left is a sprinkling of pickled red onions, which might seem like an easy part of the recipe to skip. You certainly can. But they are really crisp and acidic and a perfect contrast to the creamy fried tortillas. They are also not nearly as time-consuming to make as I assumed. The recipe for the pickled red onions makes a lot more than you'll need for the dish, so you can scale it back a little bit if you'd like. But I'd go for the gold. They keep well in the fridge and love to sit on top of other Mexican inspired dishes.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.

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