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Old 07-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
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Question Secret to burritos/tacos?

Hello,

I'm located in Paris, and noticed that Americans complain that, while some places offer OK stuff, they just can't find burritos/tacos that are on par with what's available back home.

So I was wondering...
1. What is the secret to making great burritos and tacos? Are there ingredients that must be imported from the USofA because they're just not available anywhere else?

2. Is it possible for a non-cook to make great burritos/tacos, or does it require some/a bit/serious professional training? If that's the case, any address in Paris where I could learn?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 07-27-2011, 09:08 AM   #2
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Winfried, Welcome to DC.

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Old 07-27-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Thank you
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:12 AM   #4
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To me, a great taco/burrito involves flavor. Perhaps Parisians don't put enough spice in the meat filling. The second (imo) most important part is the shell. The crunchiness of the corn tortilla or the quality of the flour tortilla can vary greatly. Even here in the US I have had good and bad tortillas which also distracts from the dish. Since I've not have Mexican food in France (last time outside US was in high school 30 yrs ago and that was Canada) I can't comment more on what the difference is.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tips.

Do you know what spices (I understand this to mean non-spicy spices) are recommended for meat used in tacos/burritos?

Are tortillas/shells hard to bake, and if so, are there good brands available in the US that I could check?
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:03 PM   #6
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indeed, mexican food is about a lot of strong, simple flavor.
try chilli powder (lots of it) and cumin. if you are serving chicken, try smoking it on charcoal.
you might be able to buy fried shells, but definitely don't buy soft tortillas. You should make them and they'll taste 100 times better than the store-bought ones that contain lots of anti-staling chemicals.
You can search my threads and find a flour tortilla recipe I posted. It might be alittle more elaborate than regular ones, but it might add a touch of france to your dish:)
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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Winfried, welcome to DC! When I went to school in New Brunswick, there wasn't a source for tortillas. That is when I learned to make my own. They are very easy to make. I have a lefse griddle that I use now, but before that, I used a CI skillet or griddle. I used my TNT tortilla recipe and mixed it up a bit for the CGG Picnic Challenge. My recipe is posted there. I use Seltzer (plain) instead of water and lard instead of vegetable oil. Corn ones are a bit trickier because you have to have the right kind of flour and devise a means of pressing them if you don't have a tortilla press. The filling and sauce are the other "secret" ingredients. I like soft tacos, but if I'm going to make "hard" tacos, I use my soft corn tortillas, fill them, roll them up, and then deep-fry them. I don't fry the shells first (like an envelope) unless I want to add salad-like toppings. There was a thread on homemade tortillas recently. That might be a good place to start.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip. I'll try using the "Home-made tortilla (sharing success)" recipe and see how it comes out.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:29 PM   #9
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I would say the biggest thing is layers of flavor: the beans are flavorful, the rice is flavorful, the meat is flavorful. Each component could be eaten separately and taste wonderful ~ but when you throw them all together they're fantastic!

Also, for dishes that don't have as many individually flavored components it's the accoutrements that often make the dish shine. You can not forget (or substitute really) the tastes that are imparted at serving time with fresh lime, cilantro, crema, onions, radishes, etc.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:12 AM   #10
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Thank you all. I'll ask around for where to find the right ingredients and then try to make my own tortillas.
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