Magazine article Sunset

Central American Tacos? They're Called Gallos

Magazine article Sunset

Central American Tacos? They're Called Gallos

Article excerpt

For lunch or a snack in Central America, it's common to see sandwiches made with fresh corn tortillas instead of bread. The soft tortillas are wrapped around savory tidbits. In Costa Rica, they're called gallos; in Mexico, tacos. For this meal, you offer several fillings with soft tortillas. Guests mix foods as they wish. Eat slaw as a relish in tortillas or as a salad. The tortillas and most of the fillings can be made ahead. Tortillas start with dehydrated masa flour (corn tortilla flour); look for it in your supermarket's flour section or in Mexican and Central American food stores. Or buy warm, freshly made corn tortillas. Central American Tortillia Sandwiches

Fresh corn tortillas (recipe follows)

Black bean filling (recipe follows)

Picadillo filling (recipe follows)

Browned chorizos (recipe follows)

Cabbage slaw relish (recipe


Salsa (homemade or purchased)

About 1 1/2 cups guacamole

(homemade or purchased) Set warm tortillas, wrapped in a napkin, in a basket. Offer bean and picadillo fillings, chorizos, slaw, salsa, and guacamole in separate containers. Add your choice of fillings to a tortilla, then roll up to eat. Makes 16 to 18 sandwiches; serves 6 to 8. Fresh corn tortillas. In a bowl, stir 23/4 to 3 cups warm water into 5 cups dehydrated masa flour (corn tortilla flour), adding just enough water so dough holds together well but is not sticky. Shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap. For each tortilla, place a 1/4-cup ball of dough on a piece of plastic wrap; cover with another piece of the wrap. Pat with your hands to form an even, 6-inch-diameter round slightly less than 1/8 inch thick. Peel off plastic wrap. As tortillas are formed, cook over medium-high heat on a hot ungreased griddle or in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, turning them often. After first turning, press occasionally with a wide spatula. Cook until tortillas look dry and are lightly flecked with brown, I 1/2 to 3 minutes. Stack tortillas as cooked. Wrap them in a towel, then in foil; keep warm. (If made ahead, cool, wrap airtight in foil, and chill up to overnight. To reheat, place foil wrapped tortillas in a 350' oven until hot, about 15 minutes.) Makes about 18. Per tortilla: 119 cal.;2.5g protein; .8g fat,25g carbo.; a 3 mg sodium; 0 mg chol. Black bean filling. Sort debris from I 1/2 cups ( I 0 oz.) dry black beans. Rinse and drain beans. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine 2 tablespoons salad oil; I large onion, chopped; and 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced. …

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