Specialty of the House

June 21, 2014 

Talega de Plantano, served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

JILL KNIGHT — jhknight@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

  • The restaurant

    Gonza Tacos y Tequila

    Two locations

    7713-39 Lead Mine Road, Raleigh, 919-846-5478;

    1849 S. Main St., Wake Forest, 919-205-2500

    gonzatacosytequila.com

I was wondering if there is any possible way you could get a hold of the recipe for Gonza Tacos y Tequila’s excellent dessert called Talega de Plantano. It is a pastry with guava, cream cheese and plantains mashed together inside and served with ice cream. It is very delicious!

John Goodie

Zebulon

It’s no wonder that reader John Goodie wanted this recipe; people rave about it online and even posted several photos of this popular dessert.

The Talega de Plantano is a deep-fried tortilla filled with cream cheese, guava paste and bananas (not plantains, their starchier cousin). This deep-fried treat is served with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Executive chef David Peraza explained that the dish is so often requested by diners that the restaurant serves 15 to 20 a day at each of the two Gonza Tacos y Tequila locations.

The original North Raleigh location was opened in 2011 by Gonza Salamanca, whose brother Carlos Salamanca owns Dos Taquitos and Dos Taquitos XOCO. Gonza Salamanca worked for his brother for five years before setting out on his own. In December, Gonza Salamanca opened a second location of Gonza Tacos y Tequila in Wake Forest.

Talega de Plantano

Guava paste and shredded Chihuahua cheese can be found at Hispanic grocery stores, such as El Mandado, 4020 Captial Blvd., Raleigh ( elmandadonc.com). This recipe comes from Gonza Tacos y Tequila, which has locations in North Raleigh and Wake Forest.

14 ounces guava paste

1 pound (2 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups shredded Chihuahua cheese, also known as asadero cheese

3 ripe bananas, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup sugar

Flour tortillas, about 8 1/2-inches wide

Peanut oil for frying

Vanilla ice cream

Caramel sauce

PLACE guava paste in a small plastic bowl and microwave on high for about 90 seconds until easily stirred.

COMBINE cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. With a mixer or a standing mixer, fully combined until no lumps of cream cheese remain. Add guava paste and mix well. Add shredded cheese and stir by hand to mix well. Finally stir in chopped bananas. Set aside.

WARM tortillas in microwave for about 10 to 20 seconds. Place 1/3 cup banana filling in the center of a tortilla. Pull edges of the tortilla to the center to create a purse. Tie with kitchen string. Trim ends. Repeat with remaining tortillas until the filling is gone. These filled tortillas can be placed in the refrigerator until ready to fry.

HEAT enough peanut oil in a deep stockpot or Dutch oven to submerge a filled tortilla. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, slowly lower the filled tortilla into the hot oil. Rotate as needed to make sure it browns all over. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes until evenly golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

SERVE dessert: place fried tortilla purse on a large plate. Garnish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce.

Yield: about 12 servings.

Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, The N&O, P.O. Box 191, Raleigh, N.C. 27602; or email aweigl@newsobserver.com.

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