Puffy tacos seem to be just a Texas thing. I like Tex Mex food a lot and never seem to find them on the menu here. Although we really are not the hotbed of Tex Mex cuisine here in New Orleans. All they are is a a tortilla that is fried in oil until it gets puffy and it is topped with you choice of meat along with lettuce and cheese and other yummy things. The first time I had a puffy taco was at Vivo in Austin. It was delicious and I was hooked. I always blamed the weight I gained while living in Austin on quitting smoking, but maybe it was the tacos!
I am not a fan of shredded iceberg lettuce as I can always taste it and it really brings nothing to the table nutrition wise. I decided to use shredded cabbage in lieu of lettuce. Vivo says their tortillas were corn but I didn't trust that my non authentic corn tortillas would puff, so I used both flour and corn to experiment. Flour won! I forgot to buy cheddar cheese and sour cream so I used the last of that Havarti from the grilled cheese (what a good Costco buy!). I am a little embarrassed to admit that I seasoned my chicken with Taco Bell sauce. I am a sucker for taco bell when hungover and always stock up on sauce. I have a bunch in my pantry and some in my "condiment drawer" at work.
I really missed the cheddar cheese here, and also the sour cream. The sour cream kinds of binds everything together so it isn't as messy. Well, it is still messy, but a yummy creamy mess. This is probably a fun thing to make with or for kids as the puffiness is cool. Follow me along to the montage and the full recipe will appear after. Enjoy!
|The cast. Seriously, don't judge me for the Taco Bell sauce!|
|Let your chicken marinate in seasoning and sauce.I love the little sayings! This one was perfect.|
|Nothing like a ripe, local tomato!|
|My camera would not get off the blurry setting for this chicken! This was the best I could get.|
|Making the shells, see the indent?|
|It didn't really stick around after I flipped.|
|I tried with the corn, but my intuition was correct, it just turned into a crunchy tostada.|
|The results. I will have to use the corn for something else of course!|
|The toppings minus the cabbage.|
8 Flour tortillas
1 cup of vegetable oil
seasoned and grilled chicken (or taco meat or pulled pork, whatever you would like)
shredded cheddar cheese
green onions chopped
For the Puffy Shells:
Heat cooking oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add one tortilla at a time to pan and using tongs, push down in the middle to form an indent in the tortilla while it cooks. Cook tortilla about 1-2 minutes per side are until golden. Remove tortilla and drain on napkin. Repeat with the rest of your tortillas. Assemble puffy tacos by topping with meat and condiments.