by Buck Reed
Tacos are a popular street food of Mexico. Although given their slow start since first eaten in the 18th century, they have reached worldwide popularity in a relatively short time. No doubt that there are plenty of restaurants, fast-food establishments, and even food trucks that offer tacos on their menu of various degrees of quality. Let’s face it, we all have our favorites. Given the taco’s popularity, there never was a trending food that screamed out louder: “Make me in your kitchen, too!!” And, given the easy skill set to make this dish, you can make tacos a part of your weekly menu plan.
First, you start with the tortilla, the flat vessel that is used to make this handheld delight a possibility. Choose a soft-shell corn or flour tortilla, or choose a more American crispy corn tortilla already folded for your convenience. You can heat them in the oven to warm them up a bit, or you can wrap the soft shells in a damp towel and them microwave for a short time.
Next are the fillings. Traditional fillings include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, beans, seafood, vegetables, cheese, or almost anything that comes to your mind. Here is where leftovers can be put to great use with a little planning ahead. If you are lighting the grill this weekend, think about adding a pork butt to the fire and cook like you would for pulled pork. Add some Mexican spices and maybe some grilled pineapple to round it out. You now have a pretty good base for a taco night down the line, calling it Al Pastor Tacos (fancy, isn’t it?)! You can also make it in the crockpot with very good results.
Then, you will need condiments. You can make this as complicated as you like and can include shredded lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, salsas, cole slaw, taco sauces, peppers, onions—the list can be as vast as your imagination, so go wild. Just make sure your condiments match your fillings. For instance, a fish or shrimp taco goes great with a slaw made with cilantro and finished with a taco sauce—this is one of my favorites. Or, think about mashed sweet potatoes with a pork or turkey taco, or use it as a base for a vegetarian taco. Taco time means permission to get that creative mojo working. And, yes, Mojo Sauce is a great condiment for taco night.
When you are in the Taco Zone, thinking outside the box is a natural place to find yourself. Why not a breakfast taco with eggs and condiments of your choice. Hopefully, at this point you can imagine some of your own. And, breakfast-on-the-go might be just what we need to get this economy going. We cannot expect the White House to come up with all the ideas, can we?
Tacos may not be all-American, but they have all the ideals of what we need to make our country great. They are versatile, easily accepted by everyone, can be made to suit all tastes, and easy to make and serve. What is more American than that?
Did you like this article? Do you make tacos at home? Write and let me know or let me know if you have an idea for an article at Rguyinthekitchen@aol.com.