The B-Sides of Mexican Cuisine from Reyna's Taqueria

Good Bite

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY MAY 4, 2021

The menu of an average Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant consists of familiar iterations of corn tortillas with seasoned somethings—tacos, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, flautas, quesadillas. But in a country that spans over 760,000 square miles of mountains, jungles and deserts, the permutations of masa run much deeper than that. So to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with something other than tacos, we turn our attention to the chicken tinga molotes from Reyna’s Taqueria.

Conceptually, molotes follow a similar formula to empanadas. But where most empanadas are flour-based, a molote is corn based. At Reyna’s, a doughy blue corn tortilla gets stuffed with shredded chicken tinga, Oaxaca cheese, chipotle peppers and onions, folded over into a half-moon and deep fried to a crispy exterior. The final product looks more like a calzone in scale than an empanada, which is usually small enough to eat two or three. The tortilla remains soft on the inside with a nice crunch on the outside, and the chicken tinga has just enough kick on its own to forgo the hot sauce that comes on the side. For best results, cut it down the middle to let it cool and dob sour cream and queso fresco onto each bite to balance the acidity.

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