Bean Tlacoyos

Bean Tlacoyos

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From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2017

Tlacoyos are oval-shaped patties made fresh on the sidewalks of Mexico City, often on charcoal-fired grills. In this healthy recipe, fresh tortilla masa works best, but if you can't find it, masa harina is a good substitute. Look for fresh tortilla masa and cactus paddles at Mexican grocery stores.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
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  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 medium head clove garlic, peeled
  • 1⅔ cups cooked black beans or one 15-ounce can low-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1½ cups warm water, plus more as needed
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 medium fresh cactus paddles (nopales; about 8 ounces), cleaned (see Tip) and diced, or one 15-ounce jar pickled cactus strips
  • 1½ cups masa harina or 1 pound fresh tortilla masa
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or other farmer's-style cheese
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup salsa

Preparation

  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Peel and quarter onion. Finely chop three-quarters of it and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Add beans, ¼ cup water and ¼ teaspoon salt. (Use caution, it may splatter.) Coarsely mash the beans with a potato masher. Add more water by the tablespoon and keep mashing until half the beans are smooth. Set aside.
  4. If using fresh cactus, cook in a medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
  5. Combine masa harina and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add 1 cup water and knead together until combined, then add ¼ cup more water. Knead for 5 minutes, adding up to ¼ 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 more water if necessary, until very soft and creamy.)
  6. Divide the dough into 8 portions, about ¼ 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.
  7. Remove the top layer of plastic and spread about 1½ tablespoons of the beans down the center of the dough. Using the bottom sheet of plastic to help you, 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 gently flatten into a ¼-inch-thick oval patty. Repeat with the remaining dough and beans.
  8. 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. Place in a clean dish towel and wrap tightly to keep warm.
  9. Serve the tlacoyos warm, topped with the reserved onion and cactus (or pickled cactus), cheese, cilantro and salsa.
  • Equipment: Rolling pin or tortilla press
  • Tips: To prep cactus paddles, aka nopales: Wear gloves or grip with a towel. Using a vegetable peeler or a knife at a 45-degree angle, shave off the thorns and eyes on both sides and all the way around the edges. Rinse well.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 tlacoyo each
  • Per serving: 195 calories; 5 g fat(2 g sat); 6 g fiber; 30 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 58 mcg folate; 11 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 472 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C; 195 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 342 mg sodium; 292 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (20% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, ½ vegetable, ½ lean meat, ½ high-fat meat

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