Tacos are one of my favorite foods and I’m always looking for different combinations to try out! This recipe combines tender, shredded chicken with a smokey Chipotle salsa and melty Oaxaca cheese. I roasted the chicken in the oven with fragrant spices, garlic and honey. The nice thing about roasting the chicken is that it produces plenty of juice in the pan to incorporate back into the meat once it has been shredded. This results in the juiciest, most tender meat for the tacos. The Oaxaca cheese melted easily over the tacos and had a mild flavor that complimented the other ingredients. The salsa can be made up to two days beforehand to save time on preparation.
Once I had a batch of Pickled Corn Salsa ready I took a nice pork shoulder and slow cooked it for some tasty tacos! The pork is marinated in tomatoes, onions and spices and slow cooked for about 4 hours in a crock pot. The pork ended up being succulent and fall apart tender. I was really happy with how soft and flavorful it turned out. The acids from the pickled salsa complimented the richness of the shredded pork. For garnish, I added a touch of lime and queso fresco.
What draws me to taco recipes is the symphony of flavors from the meats, condiments and sauces. I have never eaten Korean tacos from a food truck but I would hope that they might be like something like this: barbeque style chicken with crunchy coleslaw and spicy sour cream.
These tacos kick everything up a notch in terms of flavor and texture. The chicken is marinated ‘Dak Bulgogi‘ style with a sweet and savory sauce, grilled until caramelized. The coleslaw is a play on American coleslaw, using Napa cabbage (as used in Kimchi) with fish sauce, green onion, sriracha, and mirin. As the chicken is marinating in the sauce, prep the coleslaw and sriracha sour cream and leave it to chill. That way you’ll have everything you’ll need to assemble the tacos after grilling the chicken. The best way to make tacos is just having everything done so that you can time your dinner perfectly and not be scrambling at the last minute! I loved these tacos and will definitely make them again soon.
One of the great things about tacos is the endless possibilities that comes with them! I’ve always loved Moroccan food and I thought that tacos would be a great way to experience it again. The chicken is seasoned with a fragrant blend of spices and shreds easily with a fork. I always choose whole chickens for taco meat as I’ve noticed they come out perfectly tender every time. I chose a spicy salsa based on the flavors of traditional Moroccan Harissa paste. It gave the tacos a good amount of spiciness and flavor. Since preserved lemon is an important ingredient in Moroccan food I topped the tacos with a refreshing Preserved Lemon and Mint Salsa. To cool things down I garnished the tacos with creamy goat cheese.
Roasted a whole chicken is a perfect meat for tacos because it is tender, flavorful and easy to shred. I chose a basic spice blend of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and oregano for the chicken. Then I baked it in the oven for a few hours which gave me enough time to make some fresh Pico de Gallo and shredded manchego cheese. Manchego is a great cheese for tacos because it has the creaminess of queso fresco but with a little more tartness. The tacos turned out really well! The smoky flavor of the chicken worked nicely with the manchego and creamy avocado. The recipe for the chicken is pretty versatile so I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with different salsas and condiments next time!
Once I had my Corn Esquites Salad ready I decided to try it out in tacos. I settled on using a whole oven roasted chicken because the meat is tender and shreds easily so its perfect for tacos. I was thinking about which spices I wanted to use to season the chicken and I thought chipotle and lime would work well with the corn salad. I settled on a simple dry rub of chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, allspice and oregano. While the chicken was roasting the kitchen started to smell heavenly and I couldn’t wait to try them out! The tacos were really tasty and easy to put together. The smoky flavor of the chipotle and the tangy lime juice were a great combination. The recipe makes 12 tacos, or enough for two people for two dinners (3 tacos each).
Since Korean food works great with Tex-mex I wanted to try Korean-style tacos again! Usually “kalbi” refers to Korean BBQ short ribs but I really wanted to try the kalbi marinade on skirt steak since it’s a great meat for tacos. The marinade consists of ginger, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and asian pears so it was really easy to throw together. If you can’t find asian pears I think it would be alright to substitute in regular pears. I marinated the steak for about an hour before grilling. I used a flat pan to saute the beef at a high temperature, but I’m sure grilling the beef would be a great way to get extra flavor. The tacos were really tasty! I loved the sear on the beef along with the flavors of the kalbi marinade. I really enjoyed the sweet and savory kalbi beef with the tangy sesame soy dressing. I topped the tacos with chopped tomatoes, a cilantro lime salsa and sesame soy sauce dressing.
Who knew you could grill avocados? I had no idea until I read the recipe for these tacos. I loved the idea of tangy goat cheese coupled with the avocado slices and honey lime dressing. It sounded like the perfect quick summer meal so I knew I had to give it a try! I thought a good spice blend of black beans seasoned with achiote seed, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika would be a great addition to these tacos. The avocados had a slightly different flavor after grilling that was unique and hard to describe. I guess the flavor became a little more smokey with a stronger avocado smell. The tacos were really good! I especially liked the simple honey lime dressing to give the filling some brightness.
What better way to try out a tasty new salsa than to serve it with tacos? I picked out a skirt steak for these tacos because you can get a great sear on the outside and I figured it would go well with the salsa. I went simple and just seasoned the steak with a little cumin and smoked paprika. The salsa, steak and onions went really nicely together. Caramelized onions are so good on tacos so I add them in whenever possible. I caramelized the onions in the leftover adobo sauce which added a smokiness that wasn’t too sweet. Then for a little texture and crunch I added some red cabbage on top. A little crumbled queso fresco added creaminess (sour cream would probably work fine too.) All together, this was a really delicious taco and I look forward to having it again sometime.
Who knew butternut squash could be so versatile? As a kid, I remember only having it around Thanksgiving and the holidays. It turns out butternut squash is great on both pizza and tacos. The squash is rubbed with ground annatto/achiote seeds, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. Then it’s roasted in the oven until soft. For the toppings, I caramelized an onion with brown sugar and smoked paprika. The tacos were sweet and spicy and so good! I added a tablespoon of the black bean salsa along with some queso fresco for garnish.