Fresh tortilla masa is best for making tlacoyos, but masa harina is a good substitute. Look for both, as well as cactus paddles, at Mexican grocery stores.

Lesley Téllez
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2017; October 2020 30th Anniversary
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Peel and quarter onion. Finely chop three-quarters of it and set aside.

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  • Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining onion wedge and garlic. Cook, turning often, until blistered and golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Remove the onion and garlic and discard.

  • Add beans, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Coarsely mash the beans with a potato masher, adding more water by the tablespoon until half the beans are smooth. Set aside.

  • If using fresh cactus, cook in a saucepan of boiling water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.

  • Combine masa harina and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add 1 cup -water and knead together until combined, then add 1/4 cup more water. Knead for 5 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup more water, to form a very soft, moist dough. To test if it's moist enough, break off a piece, roll it into a ball and flatten it. If the edges crack, add more water and knead until combined. (If using fresh masa: Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with a few tablespoons water. Knead firmly, adding a little water if necessary, until very soft and creamy.)

  • Divide the dough into 8 portions, about 1/4 cup each, and cover with a damp cloth. Roll one piece of dough into a ball. Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and roll into a 5-inch circle with a rolling pin or very lightly press with a plastic wrap–lined tortilla press.

  • Remove the top layer of plastic and spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of the beans down the center of the dough. Using the sheet of plastic to help, fold both sides of the dough toward the center to enclose the filling. Pinch the seam closed. Place between sheets of plastic or return to the lined tortilla press. Roll or flatten into a 1/4-inch-thick oval patty. Repeat with the remaining dough and beans. (See photos on page 104.)

  • Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When hot, reduce heat to -medium and cook 2 tlacoyos at a time until the sides look slightly dry, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more, adjusting the heat as necessary. Wrap tightly in foil to keep warm.

  • Serve the tlacoyos warm, topped with the reserved onion and cactus (or pickled cactus), cheese, cilantro and salsa.

Tips

Equipment: Rolling pin or tortilla press

Nutrition Facts

195 calories; protein 9g 18% DV; carbohydrates 30g 10% DV; exchange other carbs 2; dietary fiber 6g 24% DV; sugars 2g; fat 5g 8% DV; saturated fat 2g 10% DV; cholesterol 11mg 4% DV; vitamin a iu 472IU 9% DV; niacin equivalents 3.6mg 28% DV; vitamin b6 0.3mg 16% DV; vitamin c 4.2mg 7% DV; folate 58mcg 15% DV; calcium 195mg 20% DV; iron 1.8mg 10% DV; magnesium 55.8mg 20% DV; potassium 291mg 8% DV; sodium 343mg 14% DV; thiamin 0.4mg 41% DV; calories from fat 45kcal; percent of calories from carbs 59; percent of calories from fat 22; percent of calories from protein 17; percent of calories from sat fat 8.