As mentioned yesterday, Husband loves Mexican food, and I like crunchy tacos. I had purchased a tong-like tortilla fryer thing last September and had yet to use it. Until last night.
You see, normally, when we have crunchy tacos, unlike most of America, I simply fill the soft corn tortillas with meat, rotel tomatoes, and cheese, and then fry the whole thing together. It tastes great, but there is no way to stuff them full of ice cold lettuce and tomatoes afterwards. I really like lettuce on my crunchy tacos – call me nostalgic for those terrible Old El Paso tacos of my youth. But since I refuse to purchase the shells – both for monetary and space-saving reasons, I have learned to do with out the cool crunch of lettuce. Until last night. I just couldn’t take it any more, and I broke out a pot, a ton of oil, and those taco-tongs.
Really. Sure, the concept was great, but the tongs are made too open for a true taco shape. Sure, you get a crunchy taco shell in the end, but instead of a nice “U” shape, you get more of an “L” shape. I could already tell that by the time you start to eat the thing, you’d have to squeeze the sides together just to get it into your mouth, and we all know what that means. “CRUNCH!!” The bottom splits apart, and you’re left with a taco salad. Dang.
So I thought, well, I bet I could just make the shells myself, without the silly tongs. Nope. Well, at least not at first. I tried to simple fold the tortilla in half once it softened, but this left them too closed to get meat into at all, let alone lettuce.
I tried again. This time, I laid the tortilla in the pot, and gently pushed down the center with a spoon. The sides folded up, and they weren’t too close together. This was the best I was going to get.
Once we started eating them, they didn’t fall apart too badly, but they still weren’t quite right. It was still hard to get the fillings inside, and they didn’t taste much different than my fried tacos, which Husband loves. I also used something like half a gallon of cooking oil in order to submerge the shells, and when I make the fried ones, I only need an inche. It just wasn’t worth it.
So now, I can tell you, without a doubt, not to waste your money on taco-tongs. They don’t really work. But I have to wonder, how do real Mexicans do it? Do they never eat crunchy tacos, or do they just pick up a box of Old El Paso?