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Old 02-12-2012, 01:18 PM   #21
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Store bought soft tortillas. I will heat them on cast iron or over diffused flames.
I will also use store bought tostadas when having ceviche, for instance.

A friend brought over a dozen (on sale) hard shelled tacos from Taco Bell yesterday and I had 7 of them. I never buy or cook hard shelled tacos for myself but these were good.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #22
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flour tortillas for burritos, quesadillas and fajitas.

I usually stop at a local tortilleria and get fresh corn tortillas. You can watch them make them.

I like soft shelled rolled tacos. I just heat them dry in a pan until they are fully pliable. Fill, roll, eat. If I accidentally cook them too long, well then it's tostadas. I also prefer corn tortillas for enchiladas. And they are good hot with just butter on them.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #23
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When I visited Copala Mexico on a tour, we had lunch at this little place and they served a taco that seemed like a corn tortilla that had been filled then folded and fried on each side. It was delicious!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:31 PM   #24
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Oh, I forgot, we have also been enjoying the combo corn and wheat tortillas lately. Have found them at Von's (Safeway) and Trader Joe's.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:48 PM   #25
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I use store bought cardboard shells for tacos al gringo. I haven't taken the time to slow cook a roast for good taco meat yet, but I'd fry up fresh tortillas in oil to make the shells if I were to.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:52 PM   #26
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Thanks for the comment Hamm. I'm curious what the combo corn/wheat is like and I'll try to remember to buy and try some.

Another interesting--and different--tortilla I've tried is yellow corn tortillas from Mission (brand). They are distinctly different from ordinary corn tortillas and I'm not sure why, except the obvious that they are made from a different type of corn. The manufacturer claims they are made " Thinner for superior frying results. Lighter weight. Use for tostadas, flautas, salad bowls and tortilla chips." Well I won't dispute that, since I've used them to for taquitos. They were good!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:54 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
I use store bought cardboard shells for tacos al gringo...
That's what we do. Maybe there is better, but these taste good to us.

I only want wheat tortillas if they are whole wheat

Montreal has lots of great food, but for some reason, when it comes to Mexican, not so much. There used to be a great, authentic Mexican place on Crescent Street, but it isn't there any more.
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:38 PM   #28
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soft corn tortillas, heated in hot oil just till they puff , then over and out. i buy extra thin ones. forget the brand. right now, dieting, i heated in micro. think i will try with just a spot of oil. i didn't really enjoy the texture in the micro ones.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #29
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I was reading Mission's website regarding their yellow corn tortillas which they claim are thinner than most tortillas.

The tortillas also puff when heating over an open gas burner, a sure sign they are done or almost done.

Although I haven't tried this, I think you might have some success heating tortillas in a microwave if you wrap them in a slightly moist towel and place them in a microwave container with a loose fitting top. I believe this would be the equivalent of steaming tortillas, which is a common way of heating them.
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Old 02-13-2012, 06:51 PM   #30
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Mission tortillas are thin, as are those of pretty much all credible makers of authentic corn tortillas. Thinness was always the mark of accomplishment for a traditional home makers.

Now, chips are another matter. There's a place for both almost paper thin light chips and more substantial corn chips. I much prefer the thinnest for dipping salsas and picos without getting filled up. (Soooo much better than those horrid bread sticks or mediocre little loaves.) In the most reliable restaurants, they're always thin. (And always plentiful and free.) But the heavier chips are better for nachos, if you want to eat them by hand. And better for some thicker quesos, especially my favorite combination of cheese, chopper peppers, and chorizo. That needs a tougher chip.

And a heavy tortilla is the death of an otherwise good flauta. The frying toughens it up and makes it hard to cut or eat. A lighter tortilla lets the flauta deliver the filling, rather than the filling being lost inside a difficult wrapper. I have always found flautas one of the trickier dishes to get right. So simple, but so easy to mess up. (But chili relleno is the sound barrier. I know of no really good Tex-Mex place without a good relleno.) But you can tell if you're in a good place as soon as you sit down, because the chips will be right, and the salsas will be local or in-house.

Tomorrow, I'm taking off for Valentines, and we're going to our favorite little Tex-Mex dump where they'll make my enchilladas the way I want them, covered in chili and deiced onions, with a lot of fresh sliced jalapenos on the side.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:05 PM   #31
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GLC that's a good point regarding thinness and flautas, and I agree. I think that applies to taquitos too. I've just recently posted a taquitos recipe in DC's ethnic food section, and when I cook that I like to use two partially overlapping them to get increased length. (Actually I'm not sure what the technical difference is between flautas and taquitos.) Anyway I used Mission yellow corn tortillas which the manufacturer claims are thinner than usual commercial tortillas. I may be putting too much into it but I've assumed their yellow corn tortillas are thinner than their ordinary corn tortillas. Anyway the Mission yellows worked well even when overlapping.

I'm a real chiles rellenos lover too! I like to make my own and I'm really pleased with how they come out, although they are often pretty messy in my kitchen. Maybe I'm skillful or maybe I'm lucky, or maybe chiles rellenos are just good when cooked at home from basic ingredients. I vary my recipe a lot which prevents me from posting my version(s).

ETA: Was just musing... Q: What do you call just one chili relleno? (A: Not enough!!!)
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:29 PM   #32
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As a connoisseur of cardboard taco shells, let me just say to avoid Ortega brand taco shells. Mission or Old El Paso or Taco Bell brands are ok.

I gotta learn how to slow cook a roast for proper tacos. Then fry up some fresh taco shells in oil.

I've been on a job where the housemaid would have the authentic taco meat already cooked, then fry the taco shells up at lunchtime for them. It looked and smelled sooooo good.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:12 PM   #33
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I use a gas grill to prepare the meat for my Baja style tacos (beef, chicken or fish). Never, ever ground beef!

After grilling the meat I wrap it loosely in foil and place it on the warning rack of the grill.

I then lightly spray my white corn tortillas (choose the ones that are most pliable) on both sides with olive oil.

Next I cover the entire surface of the grill with foil and grill the tortillas until lightly browned being careful to keep them soft enough to wrap.

In bad weather I broil the meat in the oven and heat the tortillas on a griddle on the stove.

Edit:

Blue corn tortillas are my favorite in the enchiladas I enjoy at my fave Mex restaurant but I haven't seen them at the store.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...+tortillas+buy
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #34
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You've opened up a can of worms. I live in south TX, so Mexican/Tex-Mex food is plentiful to say the least. You cannot just order a taco anywhere without hearing "What kind?" I have some very strict ideas about what constitutes what kind of taco:

Average tacos: Your basic beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese taco. IMO, they go in a hard taco shell only. However, IMO, they are boring and the antithesis of Mexican food. I just simply avoid them as much as I can. This is what most people envision as a "taco."

Breakfast tacos: Something you don't find much outside of south TX, but they generally include an egg (or two) scrambled with your choice of stuff. My favorite are fried potatoes and cheese (I've posted a recipe on here, it's basic). Bacon, refried beans, chorizo, barbacoa, chilaquiles, country sausage, and machacado are all HUGELY popular around here. You can also find non-egg breakfast tacos like bean and bacon. These require tortillas, most commonly flour but I prefer corn because it doesn't contain lard. These are by far my favorite types of tacos.

Puffy tacos: Tacos with a shell that's deep-fried on the spot and forms a puffy shape, as the name implies. Though also fried, they don't even slightly resemble your average taco shell. These come with a large variety of fillings, but I generally avoid them because they're invariably greasy. They're hugely popular here, though.

Other tacos: These include guacamole/avocado tacos, as well as street tacos like carnitas, lengua, carne guisada, tripas, etc. Almost always served in a corn tortilla, though you can request flour.

I excluded gorditas here, but they could be considered a taco as well.

Best way to prepare them? For tortillas, some people put them straight on the gas range, but I prefer a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat; just enough to puff the tortillas without burning them instantly. The tortillas should bubble up and brown unevenly, but never become crispy. Homemade corn tortillas usually only require one tortilla per taco, but store-bought corn are invariably served on double-stacked tortillas at restaurants/roach coaches
For crispy taco shells, a hot even works fine. I usually just hang them from the grates on the oven racks. However, like I said, I rarely use them since I don't like the "average tacos."

YMMV.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:32 PM   #35
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I had the best tacos at al little Mexican store the other day. Dad and daughter? Not a restaurant, though they did have 2 tables. I sat at one while they made 'em. The young woman cooked the soft corn shells to order, double Thin corn tortillas. The cook,older guy, chopped up some brisket/roast beef also to order with a cleaver. Very lean beef. Not much seasoning. Topped with onions and cheese and a little cilantro. That was all. On the side, radish slices (lots) and a whole lime sliced up. I had three to go. Lots of meat filling. A buck 25 each. The order came with the thinnest and tastiest smooth red chile sauce too. I want that sauce recipe !! Altogether They were really good !!
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #36
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The order came with the thinnest and tastiest smooth red chile sauce too. I want that sauce recipe !! Altogether They were really good !!
When it's thin and smooth, it's usually reconstituted dried chiles, onions, spices, etc. that get cooked in water, then blended into a puree.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:31 PM   #37
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Chi Chi's Mexican restaurant markets a corn and flour combo tortilla I like.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:57 AM   #38
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For me, for ease, store bought harder variety
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:20 AM   #39
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I usually make my own soft taco shells. I use a basic tortilla recipe and add some extra milk and egg and cornmeal. They are lovely.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:49 PM   #40
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That is great that you make your own Alix, they sound nice
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