Homemade tacos are so much better when you make the shells yourself. You would be surprised at how easy they are to make. I live close to a Mexican store that makes them fresh daily. Most people here will stop at their store after work and buy them because they taste so fresh. Making them yourself will add about 15 minutes to your time. They will look better with a taco press but it is not needed to make them. For this tutorial I wanted to make them for a party so they were easy to eat. This is what I came up with. I made two varieties by baking and frying them.
Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies
- Cooking oil
- 2 Cups MASA HARINA DE MAIZE makes 12 6 inch taco shells See note at the end of this page.
- 1 Small package Shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 can Black olives
- 1/4 Red Onion
- 2 Roma Tomatoes
- Several Cilantro stems
- 1/2 Pound Cooked Hamburger
- Sour Cream garnish
- 1/2 Jalapeno pepper
- Rotel or Taco sauce
- Chili powder
- Taco seasoning for the hamburger
- Utensils: Pan, thongs, knife, bowl, spoon, measuring cup, rolling pin, 5 inch cookie cutter if they make them, muffin tin, wax paper, napkins, and cupcake liners.
- NOTE: Walmart in my area has the Masa for tortillas. You can buy this at a Mexican store as well. I had to hand trim my shells because I did not have a large cookie cutter.
Step 2: Tortilla
- Mix the Masa following the instructions for adding the water and mixing.
- Roll a small ball for each tortilla bowl, reserving 1 ball for test frying if you are frying it.
- Place between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll with a rolling pin.
- You want them thin but not too thin or they will be difficult to remove from the paper.
- You will need about a 5 inch circle.
- Carefully remove them from the paper.
- Carefully place them in a greased muffin tin.
- Press gently to form the tortilla to fit the tin.
- Trim with a knife just at the rim if needed.
- Carefully remove the tortilla bowl and place it in a cupcake liner.
- Using a fork poke it in the bottom of the shell a few times to help keep it uniform when it cooks.
Step 3: Bake or Fry
- Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.
- Remove from oven.
- Place the tortilla bowls in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the tortilla bowls from the liners before frying, but save the liner to put them back in after they are cooked.
- Heat the oil on medium high until it is pretty hot. Break off a small piece of the extra ball you made and drop it into the oil, if it bubbles it is hot enough. If the oil is not hot enough it will be too greasy.
- Using the thongs carefully place the shell in the pan.
- Boil until nice and brown.
- Remove with the thongs and place on a napkin or paper towel to absorb the oil. I used a coffee filter but it really did not need anything.
- Repeat until all the bowls are cooked.
Step 4: Chopping the Vegetables
Finely chop the vegetables:
Chop the vegetables.
Step 5: Fried Tortilla Bowls
- Place the fried tortilla bowls back into the paper liners and fill.
Step 6: Filling the Shells
- Layer the meat and all the vegetables.
- Add cheese.
- Dollop the top with sour cream.
- Finish off with small pieces of the vegetables for garnish.
- Sprinkle with chili powder.
Step 7: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
I was quite pleased with the outcome of these taco bowls. I do not eat very many fried foods but this is one thing that I like best fried.
They turned out quite well and made a great finger food that was easy to eat without a big mess. I use Rotel a lot to spice up soups and Mexican food. It can be a little spicy for some people though. Traditional tacos are not made with lettuce. I have not tried making flour tortillas but they do sell mixes for them as well. I just happen to like corn tortillas better.
For the purpose of entering a contest I wanted to mention that I appreciated the things I learned from the chemical reaction contest. It helped me learn how cooking is a chemical reaction known as denaturing. Preservation, Flavor, texture, and color are all chemical changes that occur when cooking meat. The heat changes the shape and chemical structure of the amino acids and sugars on the surface. The process is known as the Maillard effect. I also learned the USDA has approved a method of preserving foods called irradiation. I had never heard of it before. But this method is using radiation to prolong the shelf life of food. There is a special label on meats and vegetables that have been processed this way.
Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Halloween!