One of my favorite things about being part of the SundaySupper bloggers is how the weekly themes make me think beyond what I might normally do as a home cook. This week was definitely one of those times as I had to consider what would I make from my Recipe Bucket List. Problem was I don’t have a Recipe Bucket List. So, I thought what to do? I’ve made fresh ravioli, homemade oxtail gnocchi, stuffed chicken, and a few other things came to mind, but all things I’ve done. Then it hit me. Puffy Tacos.
When I was in San Antonio doing training for a potential wireline union strike at the phone company I had a chance to stop at Los Barrios, a well-known Mexican restaurant famous for their puffy tacos. At first, I wasn’t impressed with the place. It looked like a local Chi-Chi’s with tile tabletops, typical Mexican-American menu combo plates, and a focus on margaritas. I was ready to be unimpressed and back to my true South of the Border love – street tacos (I have another blog where I review ‘street tacos’ found at Gas Stations.)
I ordered what I came for: Puffy Tacos. They were great and the margarita was pretty good too. They’re definitely different from the typical street taco I love and still prefer over a puffy taco, but the tacos at Los Barrios were pretty darn good and I left pleased with my evening out in San Antonio.
With a Recipe Bucket List decision to be made and my now living in Los Angeles, not Dallas, it was going to be some time before I returned to San Antonio so why not try doing this dish at home. Well that is just what I did and while they were not as perfect as Los Barrios; they were pretty good and a solid 4 out of 5 rating from this taco reviewer.
What might of helped is having a deep fryer and some additional experimentation. Plus I had trouble finding fresh masa corn flour. There was some at a local natural food market last week, but when I returned this week they said they only carried it during the holidays. Too bad. So I went to the market and found some masa harina from Bob’s Red Mill that worked nicely, better than I thought it would. So if you can’t find fresh masa, don’t worry just use a good quality masa harina and carry-on.
Puffy Taco Tortillas
Makes 6-10 shells
2 cups fresh masa or good quality masa harina
1 cup warm water (if using masa harina)
1 tablespoon lard or butter
2 Tablespoons baking powder
Vegetable oil for frying
You’ll need a tortilla press to make this recipe. I recommend finding an authentic Mexican market and find a press that is entirely flat, no lip or shallow cutout as some have. Also the heavier feeling the press the better – cast iron is preferred.
Mix the masa and baking powder together if using masa harina. If using fresh masa, just put into a bowl. Slowly add the warm water to your flour constantly combining with your hands and finally add the lard or butter (I microwaved butter for 5 seconds, soft not melted.)
Continue kneading together and add a little more water if it is too dry and crumbly. Add a little more masa if it is too wet. You want it to feel smooth and not sticky.
Combine into a large ball and put into a Ziploc bag for 20 minutes.
Open the tortilla press and place a sheet of parchment paper on each side of the press. Take out about 1 ½” inches of tortilla dough and roll into a smooth ball. Press in the center of the press.
Put the tortilla on a hot griddle or heavy non-stick pan. Let it cook for 20-30 seconds on each side. With a spatula remove it and place it into another pan with about a 1” of hot oil.
Let the tortilla fry for about 20 seconds it will begin to puff. With a spatula and some tongs navigate the frying tortilla to give it a center, “V” like form. Continue frying for about 1 minute working to maximize the puffiness of the tortilla. Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel.
Continue with remaining dough then fill with your favorite filling.
Puffy Taco Filling
Makes 6-8 tacos
1 lb ground beef
½ small red onion, minced
½ green pepper, minced
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp tomato paste
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups chopped lettuce
Mix beef with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Heat ground beef in a pan over medium-high heat. Break up the meat and cook for about 6-8 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper and tomato paste. Mix in pan and cook for about another 2-3 minutes.
Put cooked beef mixture into a puffy taco then top with tomato, cheese and lettuce. Serve with some hot sauce like Tapatio and a couple cut limes.
For more Recipe Bucket List adventures checkout the other #SundaySupper bloggers and join the chat on Twitter Sunday at 7pm EST.
This Week’s Sunday Supper Recipes:
Sunday Supper Specialty Breads:
- Homemade Bagels with Mimosa Spread by Daily Dish Recipes
- Homemade Tortillas by Supper for a Steal
- Brioche by Gotta Get Baked
- Alton Brown’s Soft Pretzels by Hezzi-D’s Book and Cooks
- Braided Challah by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites by In the Kitchen with Audrey and Maurene
- Belgian Waffles by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Gluten-free Bread by Happy Baking Days
- Monkey Bread by Vintage Kitchen Notes
Sunday Supper Main Dishes:
- Lightened Up Slow Cooker Butter Chicken by The Meltaways
- Gluten Free Ravioli by No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
- Bagna Cauda and Potatoes by Shockingly Delicious
- Beef Wellington by Family Foodie
- Green Chili and Lentil Tamales by Mangoes and Chutney
- Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta by Noshing with the Nolands
- Butternut Squash Gnocchi by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Ropa Vieja by Magnolia Days
- Tah-Dig (Persian Rice) by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Fresh Ravioli with Ricotta by Comfy Cuisine
- Stuffed Artichokes by The Roxx Box
- Braised Short Ribs by The Messy Baker blog
- Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon by Hip Foodie Mom
- French Onion Soup by The Weekend Gourmet
- Leaping Frog Chicken by The Urban Mrs.
- Fried Polenta with Spicy Tomato Relish by Mama Mommy Mom
- Savory Spinach-Filled Crepe Cake with Cheddar Sauce by Webicurean
- Japanese-Style Prosperity Pockets & Goat Cheese En Croute by Ninja Baking
- San Antonio Puffy Tacos by Sustainable Dad
- Chinese Dumplings by My Cute Bride
- Falafel by Small Wallet Big Appetite
Sunday Supper Desserts and Snacks:
- Creamy Lemon Fudge by Chocolate Moosey
- Zebra Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Faux Ice Cream with Bananas by Country Girl in the Village
- Divinity by Juanita’s Cocina
- Homemade Seafoam Candy by girlichef
- French Macarons by I Run for Wine
- Mocha Macadamia Trifle with Mascarpone Cream by The Foodie Army Wife
- Nut and Seed Nougat by What Smells So Good
- Pumpkin Mocha Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting and Dulce de Leche Drizzle by Damn Delicious
- Chocolate Meringue Cake (gluten free) by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Gluten-Free Golden Fudge Cake by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Orange Rum Tiramisu Cake by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Peanut Sesame Honey Brittle by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Granola Bars with Dried Fruit by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Jamaican Blue Drawers by Lovely Pantry
- Mini Classic Key Lime Pies by In the Kitchen with KP
- Donuts: Redux by Kelly Bakes
- Hot Lemon Curd Soufflés by Food Lust People Love
- Popcorn with truffle oil and asiago cheese by Ruffles & Truffles