Magazine article Sunset

Hooray for Huaraches

Magazine article Sunset

Hooray for Huaraches

Article excerpt

Mexico's "sole" food, main-dish tostadas take their name from a sandal

Mention huaraches, and squeaky leather sandals are the first image that pops into most heads. But Mexicans know another huarache, a special kind of tostada. It's a bountiful main-dish presentation of vegetables, meat, salsa, and cheese mounded on a thick, toasted tortilla that's shaped like the sole of a shoe. Traditionally, the tortilla is made from masa dough, whipped up in seconds from dehydrated masa flour and laden with lard. But a little baking powder used instead of lard produces lean, tender results as easily and quickly.

Huaraches

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 40 minutes

NOTES: If making ahead, cover and chill the masa dough up to 2 hours. If you find full-size huaraches hard to turn on the griddle, make them half as big and divide toppings equally.

MAKES: 4 servings

2 cups dehydrated masa flour (corn tortilla flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder

teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth

1 can (15 oz.) refried beans

Chicken, beef, pork, or mushroom topping (recipes follow)

2 cups shredded cabbage

About 1/2 cup tomato or green tomatillo salsa

About 1/4 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese

About 1/4 cup nonfat or reducedfat sour cream

Salt and pepper

1. In a bowl, stir masa flour, baking powder, salt, and broth until dough holds together well, adding a little water if needed.

2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 6-inch-long log on a sheet of waxed paper. Pat each log into a 1/8-inch-thick oval, about 4 by 8 inches. (If shaped ahead, stack with waxed paper, wrap airtight, and refrigerate up to 2 hours.)

3. Place a griddle or 2 frying pans (10 to 12 in.) over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, flip masa dough onto pan and peel off paper. Cook until bottom of masa is light brown, about 3 minutes. Use a wide spatula to turn huaraches over.

4. Spread about 1/4 of the beans over each huarache. Cover beans with 1/4 of the chicken topping. Cook until huarache bottoms are lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. With a wide spatula, transfer to plates.

5. Top huaraches equally with shredded cabbage, salsa, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper to taste.

Per huarache without topping: 392 cal., 11% (42 cal.) from fat;19 g protein; 4.7 g fat (1.6 g sat.); 72 g carbo (5.1 g fiber); 1.040 mg sodium; 5. …

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