Meriendas—snacks—are an important treat in Latin America. Of course they greatly vary from country to country, and even from region to region within a country. And, just like snacks here in the States, they range from sweet to savory.
Maybe it’s that after-school thing that started when I was in elementary school (Ay! X years ago!), but at about 3 pm or so, I start craving something to munch on. Though I still enjoy a cafecito (little coffee!) in the afternoon—despite having a couple of cups in the morning—I always seem to crave a more substantial snack. In many places in Latin America that I’ve had the pleasure of living and visiting, the afternoon
merienda is a key part of the day—and almost like a mini meal, because you share it with family and friends.
Lately my favorite merienda is the one I’m going to share with you today: a toasted corn tortilla with a bit of cheese and fresh guacamole. (Actually, this is also something I enjoy for breakfast…but that’s another story!)
So today, my friends, I’m sharing my number one snack pick (at least these days!), which has—in the past few weeks—doubled as an appetizer!
8 fresh yellow or blue corn tortillas (available in Viva Grande Ranch in New Rochelle, as well as in other local markets)
8 slices of your favorite melty cheese (I’ve been using Monterey Jack with jalapeño, but even mozzarella works!)
Hot sauce (we’re big Cholula Hot Sauce fans!)
Using a gas stove, or a hot griddle pan, toast a tortilla on one side. After you flip it, add a slice of cheese and toast until slightly melted. Repeat with remaining tortillas. (At this point, if you want to put them aside until later, set aside, and cover with foil; you can reheat in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes. )
Add a dollop of guacamole, or salsa—or both (I like mango salsa with avocado slices!) just before serving. Of course you can also invite your guests to add their favorite topping!