DIY Taco Stand


I guess I’m a bit fixated on Mexican food this week as I decided to make some tacos today for lunch, inspired by Tony Bourdain’s recent Texas/Mexico border episode that aired on the Travel Channel a few days ago. Not the kind of bastardized Tex-Mex with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream and all kinds of garbage on it on a fried Ortega shell, but the real kind of tacos that you find as Mexican street food in Mexico City, Puebla, and elsewhere in that country.

Here’s where you want to start, with your taco mise-en-place:

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We’ve got leftover rough chopped grilled onions, chopped up cilantro, chopped up chile pepper, de-seeded (I used serrano because I like the serious burn, but jalapeno or your favorite chile will do fine) a nice fresh cut up lime, and a package of corn or flour tortillas. I’ve also got a plate of leftover steak (originally marinated in Goya Adobo con Cumino for that autentico Mexican flavor) cut up into small pieces. You should probably do a better job than I did of cutting them, because these pieces were really too big.

Next, heat up a cast iron skillet REALLY FREAKING HOT and then toss your leftover steak up with the onions:

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Once you got the steak and onions heated through, remove from pan and set aside on a plate. With the pan still nice and hot, throw two tortillas onto the pan, and toast them up for about a minute on each side, just so they heat up nice and get a few brown spots on them. Remove each tortilla and stack them up one on top of the other. Repeat the process until you’ve got a couple of two-stack tortilla bases on a plate.

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Next, put some of the grilled steak and onion mixture on each tortilla stack, and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Give each taco a squeeze of lime, and eat with your favorite hot sauce.

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I’m partial to Valentina but there are a number of other authentic Mexican hot sauces out there, like El Yucateco and Tapatio.

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This works with just about any kind of meat. My favorites are leftover chicken and Mexican chorizo sausage, and grilled shrimp.

Thinly sliced up pink radish (rabano) as a garnish is also a super-authentic way to go.

4 Responses to DIY Taco Stand

  1. Moss Man says:

    No radishes? What a poseur you are.

  2. […] I believe that I have already established that I am a big fan of authentic Mexican street food (2) (3), and I like a legitimately prepared taquito as much as any serious Mexican food aficionados. That being said, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the style of Tex-Mex stuff you get at the fast food chains like Taco Bell. My problem is with the quality of ingredients and the freshness of what you are getting. Taco Bell stuff sits in steam trays for hours and they use crappy quality lettuce and vegetables which are all wilted and gross. I believe that with just a small amount of effort, you can create your own Taco Bell-like creations in the privacy of your own home, which nobody has to see you eat, and that won’t make you violently ill afterwards. I think that’s a good thing. […]

  3. I wonder if this would work good with say Tilapia?? Nice recipe here very simple and very easy thats how I like my food usually :)

  4. SBF says:

    Not certain that Mexicanos or Tejanos consider Serrano pimientos to be capable of serious burn.

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