Tacos are where it’s at! It took me awhile to get on board, but let’s just say I’m now shipshape! The fun thing about tacos, or quesadillas for that matter, is the variety of ways they can be topped. Toppings though are kind of an art form and to many or to little or not the right kind can take away from your creation. The balance of flavors is what makes a taco special. Each bite should contribute to the next, to the point of not wanting to put that taco down, because each morsel tastes so massively good. Little bites full of big flavor, but also a giant mix of textures come into play, in what seems like just a simple taco!
Tacos can be made with either corn or flour tortillas. I find the type I choose depends on the type of protein I’m using as a base to build the taco with. From there a combo of spicy, sour, salty and even sweet ingredients are added to round out the flavor of your taco. Then think crispy, crunchy, creamy as ways to add interest. Salsas add complexity and guacamole adds creamy and salty and savory. Ordering a taco at a taco joint may seem simple, but I guarantee there was a lot of thought put into that taco!
Below are a few simple taco toppings that I use to amp up the flavors of some of my favorite taco combinations. Use them also on burgers or sandwiches and anything else where you need a little extra! The avocado sauce also makes for great dipping.
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Time to Make: About 10 minutes
1 ripe avocado
2 T finely minced onion
2 T sour cream or Mexican crema
2-4 T heavy cream
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
A few grinds of black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Mash avocado. Stir in all ingredients while mashing to a sauce consistency. You may want it chunky or smooth and that is your choice. If you want it more of a thin sauce, add more cream. Add your seasonings to taste. Avocados need to be bold. This sauce is tangier than guacamole and really brings out the richness of the avocado!
Grilled and Pickled Red Onions
Time to Make: About 10 minutes active/ 20 minutes inactive
1 large red onion peeled, but root end still attached.Cut into quarters without slicing through the root. Do not separate. Brush with some oil and sprinkle with salt.
3 T white vinegar
1 crushed garlic clove
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of salt
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill onion with bulb side down until blackened. Now turn over and rest root end on grill and grill until that is blackened. It will start to spread like a flower opening. I only grill this partially so that the onion retains some crispness. Take off fire and let cool. Now cut off root stem and slice into thin slices.
Place onion, vinegar and seasonings in a pot. Bring to a boil. (I know it seems like you need more liquid, but you don’t.) As soon as it boils, turn into a container and let stand until cooled. These are great on sandwiches of all kinds and of course tacos or quesadillas! They keep in the fridge a long time!
Time to Make: About 15 minutes active/ 20 minutes inactive
1 head green cabbage
Juice of 1 lime
Seasonings such as salt, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder
Slice cabbage into 3/4″ rounds. Brush both sides with oil. Season one side well with salt. Combine lime juice with seasonings and brush on to cabbage. Use more seasonings if necessary to cover cabbage rounds. Let sit for at least one hour or up to overnight. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium high. Place cabbage rounds on an oiled grill and grill until cooked, but not soft. If some of the cabbage strings fall off gather them up and place a pile of them on a grill tray and cook them by tossing around until browned. Cabbage can be used as a taco topping or it can even be tossed with cole slaw dressing and served that way as a taco topping or as a replacement for cole slaw.
Some More Great Mexican Recipes:
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Pico de Gallo
Pineapple and Chipotle Guacamole with Tequila
Nachos Al Pastor with Pineapple Salsa
How To Make Chorizo
Pulled Chicken Tinga Tostadas
Coconut Rum Tres Leches Cake
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