Honduran Foods and Cuisine: Baleada
February 4th 2009 15:30
Baleadas are a very popular Honduran food. They are almost universally available throughout Honduras, although slightly more popular on the North Coast.
A baleada is a tortilla made of wheat flour, that is filled with a typical style of refried beans. They also have either mantequilla, a white heavy cream, or grated Honduran white cheese. You can stop right there, and have a perfect baleada, or you can add a shot of hot sauce, avocado, eggs, ham, or a variety of other "special" baleada ingredients.
Baleadas are Honduran "Fast food", and are available in many places, including bakeries, snack shops, bus stations, markets, and street corner stands. Some finer restaurants, bakeries and baleada chains also offer baleadas, if you don't want to take your chances on the streets.
If you want to try to recreate your own baleadas at home, and you don't have a Honduran cook, this is the recipe for Baleadas:
2 cups of white wheat flour
1 cup of warm water or milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and kneed until the dough forms a ball and isn't sticky. Separate the dough, and make it into golf ball sized balls. Put these in a pan, covered by a towel, and let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Heat a non-stick pan, gridle, or comal, the special tortilla pan.
Pull off one ball, and start spreading it on a table or hard surface. Make it "tortilla shaped" without holes or thick places. Good luck with that. Then place the top surface (the one that stretched the most) onto the hot comal. Cook approximately two minutes, then turn over, and cook the other side.
That makes your tortillas, now you can fill them, and fold them in half and you have a baleada.
There is nothing better than a hot baleada made fresh off the grill. I like mine with beans, cheese and hot sauce. That way I can eat three. But sometimes, at one of the "better" baleada restaurants, I will get some avocado inside, or pork if I'm feeling spry. Baleadas usually start at about 7 Lps. or US $0.35. Prices go up with special baleadas. There are also many restaurants that sell super baleadas, or like the one down the street, Baleada Pizza. That is a giant tortilla, served open, covered with beans, eggs, avocado, cheese, mantequilla, pork, beef, and (just in case you weren't disgusted yet) hot dogs. That baby costs over $5.00, but it serves . . .many.
I'll settle for my plain baleada "sencilla" and a diet coke, my official $1 breakfast of champions.
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