ATK Crispy Tacos (Tacos Dorados)
Source of Recipe
America's Test Kitchen
I saw them prepare these tacos one night and decided to try them. We liked the texture and flavor a lot. They had a nice crispiness but didn’t fall apart when you tried to eat them. You could, of course adjust the seasonings to your own taste, or even use a favorite taco seasoning mix to simplify things. You could also use different meats – Jessica suggested adding a little chorizo. You can, of course, adjust the suggested toppings to your taste. I really like the fact that you can make these up to the point of frying them and hold them overnight. I haven’t tried reheating the leftovers yet, but I’m pretty sure the CSO will do a fine job of that. The instructions sound a little complicated first time through, but once I finished the recipe, I realized that it is much easier and less complicated than the recipe’s wordiness implies. I found the brushing of the tortilla shells and heating in the oven a little bit of a mess and it took too long. The second time I made these, I just wrapped the tortillas in damp paper towels and heated them for about 20 seconds in the microwave. It worked perfectly - they were pliable and, in fact, less greasy than the other method.
Recipe Link: https://www.kcet.org/shows/americas-test-kitchen-from-cooks-illustrated/recipe-crispy-tacos-tacos-dorados
List of Ingredients
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces 90 percent lean ground beef
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Pickled jalapeño slices
Heat oven to 400F. Mix the water and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the ground beef and mix well. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a 12-inch non-stick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened – about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and one teaspoon salt and sauté, stirring often, about a minute, until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and mix into the onion and spices. Cook and stir one to two minutes. Add the beef mixture and cook, breaking up until the beef is no longer pink. Place this mixture in a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup of cheese. Wipe the sauté pan out with paper towels to use to fry the tacos in.
Completely brush both sides of the tortillas with oil. Place them, overlapping, on a baking sheet in 2 rows. Bake for about 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and lower oven temperature to 200F.
Put 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture on each of the tortillas and fold in half, pressing gently so they hold. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours).
Place a double layer of paper towels on a baking sheet and put a wire rack over top of them. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in the sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place 6 tacos in the pan with the openings facing away from you. Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until deep brown and crisp. You may need to adjust the heat to keep the oil bubbling, but not burning the tacos. Turn with tongs and a spatula – very carefully!!
As you take the both batches out of the pan, blot the tops with paper towels and place on the baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven and fry the remaining tacos.
Serve with the toppings, adding whatever you like.
Makes 12 tacos