Is there anyone that doesn’t love tacos? Whether prepared with crispy or soft tortillas made from yellow, blue or white corn (or even bright orange nacho Dorito shells!) and folded around any number of savory, delicious options ranging from beef picadillo, fish, chorizo, shrimp, vegggies or even grasshoppers (an Oaxacan delicacy), there’s no doubt that there’s something for everyone when it comes to this treat.
Tacos – beloved in Mexico, where it was made popular as a hand-held snack sold by street vendors – have become a mainstay in American culture, whether sold in a box kit, picked up at the drive-through or served up by the plate at any of the hot new restaurants headed up by Mexican chefs across the country each paying homage to the humble taco. So in honor of National Taco Day, here are some mouth-watering recipes from Mexico City-born chef Patricio Sandoval of Mercadito, whose tacos have made his mini-chain of restaurants a go-to destination for anyone in the mood to chow down on this time-honored treat.
Tacos de Camaron
Yields: 4 tacos
2 tbsps oil
1 tbsps garlic, chopped
3 tbsps red onion, diced
5 oz. marinated shrimp, roughly chopped (recipe follows)
2 tbsps chipotle puree
2 tsps lemon juice
2 tbsps butter
4 ea., 6 in. corn tortillas
4 avocado slices
1. Heat oil in a skillet. Lightly brown garlic then add red onion and sauté 30 seconds. Add shrimp. Let cook 1 minute.
2. Add chipotle puree and lemon juice then stir in butter and salt to taste. Balance sweetness/saltiness/acidity.
3. Place shrimp on tortillas and top with avocado slices, one slice per taco.
½ cup chipotle puree
¼ cup roasted garlic puree (recipe follows)
1. In bowl, mix chipotle and roasted garlic puree.
2. Mix in shrimp and marinade until ready to cook.
Roasted Garlic Puree
½ cup garlic, peeled and whole
Oil, enough to cover garlic
1. In a pot, put whole garlic and cover with oil about 2-inches above garlic.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer stirring once in a while to make sure garlic does not stick.
3. When garlic turns brown, strain oil and reserve, put roasted garlic in blender until smooth, adding oil if needed to make a paste like mixture.
*If there is extra garlic puree left, it can be refrigerated for about 1 week.
Tacos Estilo Baja
Makes 4 tacos
4 corn tortillas
4 ounces beer battered mahi mahi (recipe below)
Mexican cole slaw (recipes below)
Heat corn tortillas in a skillet. Top each tortilla with beer battered fish and cole slaw.
Beer Battered Fish
4 ounces mahi mahi
Salt to taste
Breadcrumbs, for dusting
Beer batter (recipe below)
1. Heat canola oil in a skillet or deep fryer until hot.
2. Season fish with salt then dust with breadcrumbs. Dip fish in beer batter then place in oil. Fry until golden brown.
1 1/2 cups bread mixture (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-12 ounce bottle Negra Modelo or your favorite beer
2 cups water
Whisk all ingredients together until there are no lumps.
4 cups day old bread, toasted and ground
3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups maseca
Combine all ingredients well.
Mexican Cole slaw
1 cup Napa cabbage
3/4 cup pico de gallo (recipe below)
1/4 teaspoon minced onions and cilantro
2 tablespoons chipotle aioli (recipe below)
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon honey
Salt to taste
Toss all ingredients well and season with salt to taste.
Pico de Gallo
1 cup red tomatoes, diced
1 cup white onions, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
12 ounces canola/olive oil blend
1-6 ounce can chipotles in oil
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
3/4 tablespoons honey
Blend 8 ounces oil with the chipotles in a blender. Beat egg yolk in a food processor then slowly drizzle remaining oil into yolk to create an emulsified base. Blend lemon juice, salt, and honey into mixture then slowly blend in chipotle/oil mixture until well combined.