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Tacos: May 2013 Home Cooking Dish of the Month

The vote was close for a while, but TACOS broke through the finish line with a few more votes than mussels. If you'd like to look at the voting thread, click here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/899835

Much like Aprils DOTM, spring rolls, Tacos are a dish with a lot of possible fillings, variations, and room for creativity. As usual, you are invited to use published recipes, old favorites, or a recipe you've invented. Please describe your recipe, share your source, and your outcome. Share any techniques that worked for you, and any that didn't. Photos are always encouraged.

Please remember to paraphrase any recipes that are not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Let's use our imagination and push the envelope on tacos. Or push the tortilla. Or whatever. Feliz cinco de mayo todo el mundo, and Happy May in general, filled with May flowers, and with tacos!

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  1. I made tacos yesterday with fresh tuna salad-recipe from fish without doubt-tomato salsa with store bought corn hard shell. I topped tacos also with avocado slice and sprig of parsley.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jpr54_1

      jpr54_1, how did you like them? Would you recommend the recipe?

      1. re: jpr54_1

        Fish Without a Doubt by Mooney and Finemore
        pg.334 Classic American Tuna Salad
        instead of dill I used parsley

        Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
        Page 146Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa
        I didn't use cilantro-bcz I am one of those pls with gene for it tasting like soap. I used flat parsley instead.

        I have made the tuna salad several times b4 and first time for the salsa

        I would definitely recommend the recipes.-very easy to prepare and follow.

        1. re: jpr54_1

          That sounds like a really interesting recipe. yum

        2. I placed the book in this topic bcz of its relevance to tacos.
          Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food
          by Jeffrey M. Pilcher.

          I received this book today and have read several pages-
          The notes are excellent and the select bibliography is extensive.
          The book is well researched and written.
          Book gives history of Mexican food

          1. My mom, bless her soul, is a terrible cook. Every week growing up she would make the same recipes over and over and tacos were my favorite. She used a pound of ground beef and salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt (I literally did not know what real garlic was until I left home and taught myself to cook). The one great think she did though was fry the corn tortillas in oil. She would get up from the table over and over again and essentially fry them to order. After the divorce, we switched to flour, which could be microwaved and allowed my my now full time working mother to actually sit at the table with the rest of us, a concession I was happy to make. And now be prepared to gag. lettuce, cheese, onions, and KETCHUP!

            As I noted, I grew up and learned to cook, but my undying love for ground beef tacos has never waned. My mom's measly and salty! seasonings don't cut it anymore. Cooks illustrated published a ground beef taco recipe some years ago. I've made some adjustments to their recipe and here is my modified version (* indicate my modification, either in quantity or some other variable):

            Seasoning mix:
            1 tablespoon chili powder *
            1 teaspoon cumin
            1 teaspoon coriander
            1/2 tsp dried oregano
            1/2 tsp garlic powder *
            1/2 tsp salt
            1/4 tsp cayenne

            Liquid Mix:
            1/2 cup chicken broth
            1/2 cup tomato sauce
            2 tsp cider vinegar
            1 tsp brown sugar

            Other:
            1 lb. lean ground beef
            1 chopped onion (+ vegetable oil)
            1 15 oz. drained can black beans *

            Cook the ONION over medium heat in some oil for about five minutes. Add the SEASONING MIX and cook for one minute. Add the BEEF and cook until browned, about five minutes. Add the LIQUID MIX and simmer until virtually evaporated for at least ten minutes, but probably more or you'll have wet tacos. Add BLACK BEANS and cook for one minute more, they heat up fast.

            Tortillas:
            Put a layer of corn tortillas on a baking sheet then put a cooling rack on top of that and a layer of more tortillas. When liquid ingredients have been added turn the oven to 225* and add rack to cold oven. The idea here is to have warmed tortillas. If you start too early or too high of a heat they will dry out.

            (P.S. I still put ketchup on my first taco, then I grow up and switch to Franks Red Hot. Very guilty pleasure)

            1 Reply
            1. We are lucky to have a wonderful taco truck in our neighborhood and so my taco making has gone waaaayyy downhill. I hope to remedy this by participating in this thread.

              It's weird to remember how "tacos" used to be made in my family years ago. They were always fried til crispy. Back then there were no ready-made shells. Thank goodness for that.

              Anyhow, now I make tacos by steaming tortillas in the microwave. "Soft tacos". This was unheard of when I was growing up.

              Now, whenever I feel like actually cooking, I make the tacos with chicken or fish or, for tonight, pork. I use lots of cilantro, lots of garlic in the cooking of the pork, and Mrs. Renfrew's green chili salsa ( chiles, cilantro, etc.). Weird to think Mrs. R's salsa is better than most other "Mexican" brands.

              Tonight the tacos will be accompanied by roasted peppers I made on the bbq this morning. They've been marinating in olive oil and garlic since 11 a.m.

              While writing this I notices jpr54's post about fresh tuna salad tacos. Sounds fabu!

              1 Reply
              1. re: oakjoan

                How lucky you are to have a great taco truck in the neighborhood. I doubt I'd ever make tacos if I had that!

                We also had crispy tacos when I was a kid, with purchased crispy shells. Ground beef, American cheese, iceberg lettuce.

                Your pork tacos with roasted peppers sound great.

              2. I fancied something chocolaty and ice creamy this evening, and then whilst browsing this thread it hit. Dessert tacos! Why this has never occurred to me before, I don't know. I'll certainly be doing it again.

                I started by lightly buttering both sides of a soft taco shell, then sprinkling each side with cinnamon sugar before crisping up in a hot pan. I then transfered the shell to an upside down muffin tray to create the shape associated with tacos. Once it was cooler I filled it with coffee ice cream. For the chocolate fix I melted some semi-sweet chips, added a dash of cream and a dash of cinnamon-coffee liquer, then drizzled on top.

                It was delicious. The shell was sweet, chewy, crispy and nicely caramelized.

                 
                7 Replies
                1. re: Musie

                  Ha! You posted this two minutes ago, and one minute ago I was thinking of a different type of dessert taco. Yours sound good! If I actually make mine (and sort out a couple more details, I'll post).

                  1. re: juster

                    Mine was a spur of the moment. Took maybe 10 minutes from brain to plate too. I think a fruit based one is on the cards sometime this month too.

                    Possibilities just keep going on and on..

                  2. re: Musie

                    OMG, I am not a big dessert person, but those sound wonderful. Way to go!

                    1. re: Musie

                      My son use to enjoy a product called ChocoTaco when he was a kid...he'd be all over your homemade version!
                      http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                      Do you think they would go with the taco I planned for Sunday?

                      1. re: HillJ

                        I don't see why it wouldn't go with your menu. If you wanted a slightly lighter feel, maybe a vanilla ice cream would be better. With the coffee ice cream, sugary cinnamon shell and chocolate sauce it made for quite a rich dessert.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          We bought a box of Choco Tacos for our grandsons last week. I tried one and determined it's an ice cream drumstick without the nuts. Tasty!

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            Funny the ones we buy have nuts dotted along the opening along with extra chocolate fudge holding the nuts in place. Just like a drumstick folded!