How to Make the Best Damn Taco Shells Ever
Okay, here is a recipe for the best damn taco shells you've ever had.
Seriously, if you're used to using those dry, half-the-pack-is-cracked, bland, stale-because-they-come-in-a-box-that's-been-on-a-shelf-for-months taco shells, you are in for a real treat when you make these. In fact, my oldest son will boycott taco night altogether if I even have the nerve to not make these now. They are a little more trouble than opening a box but definitely worth the effort. So this is what you need to make the best damn taco shells ever
1/2 cup masa (You can find this really cheap in the "ethnic food" aisles in the grocery store or maybe you could use plain cornmeal, I don't know. Try it and let me know.)
1 cup flour (just regular, all purpose flour is fine but maybe whole wheat would add an extra texture that you would like. Again, I'm not sure. Experiment and let me know)
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1. Mix all your ingredients together in a bowl. It will be very runny. 2. Drop onto a hot, lightly greased skillet that's on a low-medium to medium heat. I use a 1/4 c. measuring cup for this mostly because I don't have a good ladle and this seems to work just as well. You'll want to pour it into the middle of the pan, then use the bottom of the cup or spoon and spread the batter out in circular motions pretty quickly so you end up with a larger, pretty thin layer of batter. By now it will already be cooking and you will have to be careful not to tear it. If you do tear it, just add a little more batter to the spot and it will self-heal. 3. Let it cook on one side for a minute or two. Then flip it over when the top is almost completely dry. Use a spatula to gently loosen the edges or you might rip it. If you do, again you can fix it by just putting a little more of the raw batter over the tear and it will self-heal so don't stress too much.
4. By this point, your baby has probably started crying. Distract him with utensils drawer. Be careful though or he might pull out one of the corn on the cob skewers and poke your side fat with it. Judgmental little bastard. 5. Once the taco is cooked on both sides until dry, about a minute each side, you will want to set them aside until it's time to fry them. I've found the easiest way to do this is to lay them over the little bars in the oven (keep oven turned off). I also like to put a cookie sheet underneath to keep any crumbs from dropping onto the bottom but that's only because we don't have a self-cleaning oven and it's a pain to clean. Just keep following the first five steps over and over until you have used all of the batter. You should have 8-10 "tacos."
6. FRY TIME!! Heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan. You only need enough to loosely cover your tacos so don't worry about deep frying them. An inch or two of oil will do. Place a few of those babies into very hot oil, folded over into the taco shape. Turn over and let them cook evenly on both sides then remove and drain them on a towel. Tip: Every time I make these, my husband "suggests" that I should stuff some aluminum foil into the center of each so they are easier to stuff when they're cooked and hard but I'm too lazy for that so I just pretend not to remember next time. YUM! Finished shells, draining on cookie sheet and towel.
7. Construct your taco and enjoy. These tacos are deliciously crunchy, greasy, and chewy all at the same time. They're best eaten right away, but I've eaten them the next day and was still thrilled by them then. 8. (Optional) Give your three-year-old a beautiful and delicious taco and watch sadly as he tears it apart and only eats the sour cream. Finish his taco after he leaves the table. Because they are too damn good to waste. Note: This recipe typically makes 8-10 tacos, which is just barely enough for me, my husband and the three boys. As the boys get older I'll probably have to double up the batch. Cheers and happy eating! -Eve @ thatsmyapple.com