Al Pastor. Adobo. Chili-braised. Seared. Ceviche. There are so many delicious ways to enjoy a taco — and all of them sound so committal. You don’t need lots of fancy chilies or several days worth of cooking to make great tacos. In fact, if you have a few corn tortillas lurking in the fridge, you’ve got the most important component for a delicious taco spread for breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the magic happen:
START WITH TORTILLAS
If you’re really wanting to make tacos a reality, you can make tortillas yourself with just a couple of ingredients but that *typically* defeats the point of a quick-and-easy meal. Instead, we recommend hunting down the best tortillas you can find. Look for tortillas made with the freshest corn flour and a packaging date as close to when you buy them as possible. You’re probably going to have the best luck doing this in a Mexican market or grocery store with lots of Mexican products. Then, pick up the package and flex it a little. The tortillas in the package should bend without sticking together. You should also see some condensation inside the bag. Warm those babies in a hot pan with olive oil and taco-away!
Al pastor isn’t the only protein option here. Baked tofu, hummus, a can of black beans and eggs all count. Drain them, warm them, scramble them and you have a great base for tacos.
Hearty vegetables can help your tacos stand up on their own. Sauté mushrooms like lion’s mane or oysters to layer in and make the “meat” of your taco. Strips of roasted butternut squash or even beefy avocados will do here. If you’ve got a protein, you’re going to want to add vegetables to make your tacos fresh and flavorful. Spicy radishes, fresh greens, bright herbs, crunchy carrots and cabbage, crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, even chunky sweet pineapple all make exceptional taco toppings.
GET IN A PICKLE
Pickles may be one of the last things you think about adding to your tacos at home, but if you were in a proper taqueria it would be one of the first accoutrements they would bring to complete your tacos. Pickled onions, carrots, chilies, beets, watermelon chunks, jicama and even kim chi are worth adding to your taco.
SAUCE IT UP
Because the ingredients you’re using in your tacos are all simple, you’ll want a sauce to pull it all together. This can be anything — a salsa, spicy mayonnaise, squeeze of lime juice with a squirt of hot sauce, drizzle of yogurt whisked with lime juice or even a simple avocado crema made by whisking together 1 tablespoon olive oil with 2 tablespoons yogurt plus the juice and zest of 1 lime and 1/2 a smashed avocado. Whatever you do, make sure to sauce your tacos.
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Some of our favorite combinations:
- Salt and pepper scrambled eggs with green onions + cucumbers + quick pickled onions and avocado crema
- Black beans with radishes, arugula + quick pickled onions + yogurt-lime dressing
- Leftover grilled shrimp with pineapple chunks + cilantro + lime-massaged purple cabbage + dollop of fresh salsa
- Roasted mushrooms + green onions + spinach + feta cheese + squeeze of lime + hot sauce