Monday, May 25, 2009

Missing El Paso...

My very first blog post! Kinda underwhelming, actually, but as I was missing my El Paso roots, I got to thinking about things I had there that I'm missing today and my thouughts naturally went to... Chico's Tacos! Crisp rolled tacos enveloped in a gooey-cheesy-tomatoey sauce that make me want to call the airlines! Well, the craving got so strong, I actually hit the web looking for a substitute, and found this recipe. It wasn't perfect, but it hit the spot. Yummy!!!

The recipe I used for Chicos Mock-os (with my tweaks):

Chico's-Style Tacos
(makes 24-30 tacos)

1.5 lb. ground beef
1-2 tsp. garlic salt, to taste
3 large (or 4 small) jalapeños, stems removed
1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
24-30 corn tortillas
cooking oil
Finely grated, mild cheddar cheese

Combine raw ground beef and 1 c. water in a medium-size pot. Heat nearly to simmering, stirring to break up the meat, and add 3 1/2 c. water. Bring mixture to a simmer, skimming off any film that rises to the surface. Lower heat, add garlic salt and jalapeños, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until jalapeños are soft. Strain mixture, reserving broth in a large pot. Remove jalapeños and set aside, leaving meat to cool.

Bring strained broth to a simmer, add tomatoes and 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic and continue simmering for 20 minutes to 1 hr. Lower heat, keeping broth warm.

While meat-chili mixture cools, prepare jalapeño sauce: Remove seeds and veins from jalapeños, if desired. Combine chilies, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, and 3/4 c. water in a blender, and purée; set aside.

Unless the tortillas are very fresh (they can be rolled up tightly without cracking or unrolling), you’ll need to soften them. (Fry one at a time in hot oil for 5-10 seconds, or just until softened; drain on paper towels.) Place a heaping tablespoon of cooked meat just off center of each tortilla, roll into TIGHT cylinders, and secure in the middle with a toothpick. (If you're baking instead of frying, no toothpick necessary; just place seam side down on baking sheet). To fry: Place tacos in 1/2-inch-deep hot oil; fry a few minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown, turning once. Drain well on paper towels, removing toothpick when cooled. To bake: Place tacos in 475° oven for 15-20 min, until golden brown.

To serve: Place 3-6 tacos in a large, shallow soup bowl. Top each serving with cheese, ladle reserved hot broth over them and serve with jalapeño salsa. Close your eyes and hear the inner mariachis play! Mmmmmmm!!!

Now if only we knew how to make those fries... :p

Original recipe by Jim Peyton, via Yahoo! Answers

1 comment:

  1. Who knew it was so complex? I thought they just overcooked everything and then covered it with a thin sauce and government cheese.

    God, I miss Chico's.

    If you're ever in town you'll have to let us take you to a place called The Screaming Goat, which used to be Chuco's Tacos until Chico's threatened to sue the hell out of them. I like to tell people that their tacos are like Chico's if Chico's gave a shit. It's not the same, but it'll do until you find yourself in El Paso.