Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crispy Taco Shells

We are big fans of crispy tacos but I am not a big fan of the shells you buy in a box. The vacuum-packed packages with the cardboard inserts make me think they've been on the shelf for about a decade. Plus, they're always too thick and don't really taste right. This homemade solution was inspired by some tacos I used to have every summer on an annual river trip I went on with a friend. 5-6 families would get together with all of their kids and spend a few days in cabins on the Frio river. We'd float the river during the day and each family would take turns with breakfast or dinner. We rarely made it up for breakfast but the tacos were always one of our favorite dinners. One of the women on the trip hailed from Mexico and she knew how to make some amazing taco meat and homemade crispy shells. I watched her make them each year and thought it would be simple enough to replicate at home. I was right! Chris doubted me but we agreed that these came out great - much better than the box variety. Hope you enjoy!

Time: 10 minutes
Serves: as many as you'd like

  • 2-3 corn tortillas per person, plus a few extras (have a few more of these on hand than you want to serve - these are like pancakes - it may take a few tries to get them right)
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  1. Pour vegetable oil into a small skillet until you have about 1/4 of an inch. I'd estimate I used about half a cup of oil. Heat your skillet over high heat for 5-7 minutes. You know it's hot enough when you can add a drop of water to the oil and it sizzles right away.
  2. Once your oil is hot, add your first corn tortilla. Cook it on one side for about 1 minute, then flip it over. After you flip it over, fold it in half. This ensures that the cooked side of the tortilla is on the inside of the shell.
  3. Now cook the shell on each side for another 1-2 minutes, until it's golden brown. Remove the shells to a paper towel to drain and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
  4. Serve stuffed with taco meat and all the fixins.

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