Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chorizo, chilies and potato tacos

Inspired by the tacos de papas con rajas at Big Star, a simple and pretty fantastic taco filling. I improvised quite a bit, as should you, but basically, I used:

1 pckg chorizo - Mexican, not Spanish style. It was basically a pork paste in a plastic tube.
2 medium-large russet potatoes
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 can diced green chilis
1 can chipotle chilis in adobo sauce (I am so bringing a few cans of those back to Turkey!)
Fresh cilantro

I peeled the potatoes and sliced them into matchsticks, chopped the onion into small slices, and diced the garlic. I put a little oil in a pan on medium heat and squeezed the chorizo onto it, stirring it around to break it up. Once it was crumbly and had exuded a nice amount of grease, I added the potatoes. Then I wondered if I should've removed the chorizo onto a paper towel first (but that always seems like such a pain in the ass to me), or if I should've added the onions and garlic sooner. So I tried to push the potatoes to the side a little, and stack the chorizo on top of it, and added the onion and garlic. I sprinkled the potatoes liberally with salt, which proved somewhat unnecessary, because the whole thing came out super salty (luckily still good though. But I think it'd be better dialed down a notch. My point being, go easy on the salt.). Then I stirred it all, with a sinking sense that it was headed for disaster. But what the hell, I opened the can of green chilis and added them, and the can of chipotle chilis. I sort of shook some of the sauce off them and chopped them up and threw em in. Gave the whole thing a few more stirs and decided it was ready. And you know what? It was awesome. I ate it on heated flour tortillas, garnished plentifully with cilantro. It has proved to be a fantastic packed lunch option, too - roll some up in a tortilla (no need to reheat) with or without cilantro, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and boom, portable lunch! For reheating at home, I think a frying pan would be the way to go, and maybe a squeeze of lime.

I know my timing guidelines aren't so helpful, but it really is a wing it sort of meal. What is crucial though, is that you not overcook the potatoes. You want them to have some crunch. You also want the onions and chilis somewhat firm. It really doesn't take long for it all to cook - its a simple, cheap, and plentiful dish. If you overlook it, it'll still be delicious, just maybe kinda mushy. At which point, I suggest you form it into patties and fry it on high heat. I bet that'd be awesome too.

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