Sunday, October 30, 2011

Eat: Tasty Tacos

I must be on a Mexican food craze. How else can I explain two forays into Mexican dishes within 7 days? This week, I found myself drawn to the idea of tofu tacos and began searching for the perfect recipe. If that idea gets you excited, you might be disappointed by this post. I say that because I was ultimately won over by a recipe for spicy chicken tacos. I know, I know, on the surface this does not present as particularly interesting. However, the unique aspects of this dish lie in the details: do-it-yourself seasoning with ten different spices and garnishes like lime and avocado slices. The seasoning really is the star of this meal; it is incredibly flavorful without being too spicy. I would know because I am a total wimp when it comes to spicy foods. So give this dish a try and enjoy!

TIME: 30 minutes (including time to prep garnishes)
YIELDS: 20-25 small tacos

DIY Taco Seasoning...

In a small bowl, mix together:

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Shredded Chicken Tacos...

3 cups of shredded, cooked chicken
3-4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
¼ cup of water
2-3 teaspoons dried cilantro (or ¼ cup fresh)
20-24 small corn tortillas
Garnishes: whatever you like! I recommend our selections: lime wedges, avocado slices, green onions, peppers, shredded spinach, and diced tomatoes.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the chicken, taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally to avoid burning along the bottom of the skillet. Let the mixture cook for about 5 minutes; the sauce should be very thick.

Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cilantro.

As far as the tortillas go, you have two options: soft or crunchy. If you go the soft route (as I did), you are now ready for taco assembly (and taco enjoyment!). If you would like crunchy tacos, use the following instructions.

First, place a few paper towels on a plate next to your stove. In another large skillet, heat some oil on medium-high heat.

Once the oil is bubbling, add a few tortillas to the pan. Wait 10-15 seconds and then flip them over.

Place some of the chicken mixture down the center of the tortillas (about 2-3 tablespoons, depending on the size of your tortillas). Using heat-resistant tongs, fold the tortillas in half and press for a few seconds allowing them to take shape. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip each over to the other side to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to the plate lined with paper towels. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas.

This week’s recipe came courtesy of Perry's Plate .

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