What if all those folks around your table got to create their own dinner? Each plate would probably contain different ingredients, right? Well, it just so happens that you can whip up this little miracle while providing nutrition.
Long before Europeans conquerors or tourists showed up in Mexico, flat cornmeal breads were a food factor. These edible plates, tacos, were very possibly the first street food. Perhaps, 3,000 years ago, that would have been path food. A taco is a lot of things, but in its simplest form it is a corn or flour tortilla, soft or crisp, wrapped around other food and eaten with your hands. Brilliant. The potential filling materials for tacos are infinitely adaptable to seasons, tastes and imagination .
Tacos are eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Tales are told of soft tortillas snitched warm right off the griddle and eaten plain in guilty pleasure. Individual regions have added unique versions to the treasury of its national cuisine. Roasted, grilled, stewed or braised meat fillings of goat, beef, chicken, lamb and pork are the specialties of some while both coasts have offered up shrimp, fish and even scallop tacos. There are mouth-shocking combinations of sweet fruits such as pineapple and hot, spicy chili sauces or fresh cilantro.
One form of the taco called Barbacoa, is some distant relative of the New England Clambake. These tacos are prepared over coals in a pit oven, in layers that include moist leaves. In 2011, Ripley’s acknowledged the world’s largest taco. It was a whopping 246 feet long and filled with a long and slowly cooked pork stew called carnitas. Just so you are prepared next year, March 31st has been declared International Taco Day.
Some fillings lend themselves to the crisp taco, especially the softer ones that benefit from the added crunch. Many a soft tortilla is used as both plate and napkin. Try getting a bit of crunchy into these with bits of jicama, radish or lettuce for great texture. Stuff a warm tortilla with scrambled eggs and diced chorizo to put an extra zip in your morning.
As with much of life, the main thing is to be open to the new experiments and have a good time. Setting up a Lazy Susan or turntable with a wide variety of ingredients to be mixed and matched at the whim or will of the diner is a lovely way to turn dinnertime into fun, without kitchen drugery. Today’s recipe, if it can be given that term, is DIY Tacos. You only have to open your refrigerator or look into your market basket to make up great variations. If you wish to carry DIY to an extreme, you can make your own tortillas. The following link will give you the ins and outs of the process: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-corn-tortillas-from-scratch-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-85904