Sunday, September 6, 2009


A few years ago, I moved to Astoria, Queens. There, I discovered my new favorite "restaurant," though it was hardly "a restaurant". It was a catering truck, with "Azteca Pride" and "El Rey Del Taco" painted on it, parked on 30th Avenue outside the Rite Aid Drug Store. Marsha and I lovingly referred to it as "Taco Truck." Now, before you judge my views on food, let me note that in New York we take our street vendors seriously. Many carts proudly display food reviews from publications such as Zagat's and The New York Times. If you were to ask around about "The Taco Truck in Astoria," 1 out of 5 people in this town could probably give you directions. In fact, the truck is so popular that Jose, the owner, was able to earn the money to open a restaurant. It kinda makes me proud. This place has some of the of the best Mexican street fare. For example, the huarache (recipe from Sunset Magazine, via, modified by ME)

Recipe makes 4 huaraches

--2 cups Dehydrated Masa Flour (Corn Tortilla Flour)
--1 tsp Baking Powder
--1/4 tsp Salt
--1 and 3/4 cups Chicken Broth

--Refried Beans
--Some sort of Meat (I would recommend Chorizo (crumbled and pan-fried), or Chicken that has been marinated in Lime)
--Shredded Lettuce
--Sliced Tomatoes, or Pico de Gallo
--Crumbled Cotija Cheese (or Feta Cheese)
--Sour Cream
--Guacamole (optional)
--Hot Sauce (optional)
--Salt and Black Pepper

In a bowl, stir masa flour, baking powder, salt, and broth until dough holds together well, adding a little water if needed. 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.) Place a griddle on 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, then spread refried beans over each huarache. Cover beans with meat topping. Cook until huarache bottoms are lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to plates. Top huaraches equally with shredded lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper to taste. I recommend guacamole and hot sauce too!


clairz said...

I love that they are named after the shoes. Here is a photo of a man preparing them.

clairz said...

Here we are, years later, living in Las Cruces. We have a new grocery store, Pro's Ranch Market, that sells freshly made huaraches. When you visit next time, we'll go there for sure. They sell the best Oaxacan crema I've ever tasted. Actually, it's the ONLY Oaxacan creme I've ever tried, but it is sooo good in chicken enchiladas.