Tire of the doughy tasteless commercial burrito shells and corn tortillas offered in your local supermarket? Why not make your own taco platform? Great texture and you can make them as big as your pan allows for you extra big taco stuffers.
These are a common sight in the South West U.S. I think they originated with the Navajos. Very easy recipe that doesn't take much time and delivers really delicious results.
Once you master this then by all means take it and fly with it, experiment, create your own taste. Add some garlic to the dough, maybe some chili powder or crushed red peppers. You can also slit pockets into these for flat bread sandwiches. Lots of possibilities so go for it!
Step 1: Gathering Provisions
This is a list of the stuff you need. Pretty short list eh? Most of it you're going to have on hand anyway.
2 1/2 Cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oil
1 Cup warm milk
Vegetable oil for frying
No sweat right? Let's do it.
Step 2: Mix Well
Ok throw all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir it up. Just mix it up nice and smooth and add in the warm milk. Warm just means room temperature or lukewarm to the touch. I found that a minute in the microwave was fine.
Now mix that up to make a dough. Keep stirring with a spoon until it kind of starts balling up together.
Divide the dough into about 8 equal pieces and roll them into balls.
Squish the balls. I just use my hands but I don't much care if they're round and pretty 'cuz I'm just going to eat them and very shortly. I also leave mine a little thicker which makes them harder to fold around your filings but I like the texture better. If you've got company coming or if its just important to you by all means get out the rolling pin and make pretty circles.
These will puff up a little when you cook them so you decide how big around and how flat you want to make them. Go ahead, experiment a couple of times to see the difference. You can always eat the mistakes. They're really good with butter and honey or peanut butter.
Go ahead and get that oil going in the pan and let it get hot (about 350F)
Step 3: Fry
You only want a couple of inches of oil in your pan. Enough to float the bread but not so deep you can't work easily with the tongs to handle the bread. You also will want to poke holes in the bubbles as the form so it can't be too deep.
Heat the oil up until its hot but not so hot it smokes. Medium high heat is usually plenty. If you have a deep frying thermometer then use it.
Slip the dough circles into the oil one or two at a time depending on the size of your pan.
It takes about 30 seconds on the first side to get them golden brown and slightly less time on the flip side. Poke them with a fork as bubbles start to form to keep them flat for tacos.
If you rolled them out thin enough you can also fry the first side until its slightly crisp and then use your tongs to bend it into a 'u' shape and hold each side of the 'u' under the oil for a while and it will hold the shape for a nice chalupa shell.