Once upon a time, I routinely struggled to summon enough effort to put a meal together on Monday evenings. Most often, I’d simply get out of work too late to justify a full-blown culinary production. This would inevitably lead to some combination of dry corn flakes, scrambled eggs and/or canned sardines for dinner**.
That was, at least, until Masa Monday came into the picture.
Masa Monday is designed to alleviate the strain we can all sometimes feel when preparing a meal on Monday nights.
The formula is simple:
Leftovers + Masa Shapes = Dinner (and breakfast, and lunch, and snacks)
And, with dozens of masa shapes, weekend leftovers and household condiments to choose from, the possibilities are endless.
Tonight, for example, I have some slices of Havarti cheese that are a few short days from expiration, cooked hamburger patties (which we’ll heat and crumble) and a chipotle-coffee salsa macha, all of which we’ll be enjoying on top of a freshly-made huarache. And, in case we’re still hungry, we have one lone serving of leftover beans that we’ll serve atop a sope, finished with a fried egg sprinkled with some thyme I found in a dark corner of my produce drawer.
The total time this will take me to prepare? All of 10 minutes–15 if I’m feeling extra sluggish.
While the leftovers and refrigerator diving are in your hands, we’ve gone ahead and taken care of the masa preparation (care of Masienda’s very own authentic masa harina or flour) and shape inspiration, for your convenience.
What is a huarache?
Huaraches get their name from the woven sandals commonly worn throughout Mexico. They are typically large-format dishes (think 12 US adult shoe size) which, while sometimes shared, are often enjoyed as a main course and topped with meat. Smaller versions are, of course, also welcome.
Some styles of huaraches, like many throughout Mexico City, may be stuffed with refried beans before being griddled on the comal (kind of like a giant tlacoyo). Alternatively, other huarache styles may not be stuffed, but instead topped with beans or other condiments (like the delicious one we’ll prepare together, below).
Our huarache recipe
Preheat your comal to medium-high heat. Roll a ball roughly the size of a racquet ball and shape it into a 8 to 10-inch log (depending on how large your tortilla press is). You can then flatten with a tortilla press to about 1/8 inch thick.
Lower your comal to medium heat. Cook one side of the huarache for about 3 minutes. Flip over and let the second side cook for another 3 minutes. Continue cooking until cooked through to the center. I like a texture contrast between a crusty exterior and a soft center. Enjoy immediately or rest in a kitchen towel at room temperature, if planning to use within the next 6-12 hours.
Cooked huaraches (without toppings) may be stored for up to 7 days in the refrigerator or one year frozen. A little bit of water rubbed on either side of the huarache will help to reintroduce any moisture lost during storage, prior to reheating with a comal.
In this 80-second Masa Shapes video, we’ll show you how to make a huarache with our blue masa harina (you may also use our white masa harina). Just add water, shape and serve for your very own Masa Monday.
For toppings, we took what we had in our refrigerator–a bit of lard, refried beans, onion, cilantro, cabbage, avocado and salsa verde.
As always, let us know if you have any questions along the way. We’re standing by at firstname.lastname@example.org for any masa preparation questions or thoughts you might have.
**For the record, I still occasionally derive a deep pleasure from each one of these items in a Monday dinner setting.
And for more information on our top-rated tortilla press, click here.