Puffy Taco Shells & Homemade Taco Seasoning

Here in Michigan puffy tacos are not very common. In my visits to Mexican restaurants around here, there has only been one place that I have come across that serves them, El Charro’s. When Hubby and I go out for Mexican food, which is only about once a year, we always go to El Charro’s and always get a puffy taco.

After many years of enjoying going out for this wonderful spin on an old favorite, I decided to do a little research and see if I could make them at home. This is when I learned that puffy tacos are originally from Texas. Out there they are apparently served all over the place, which is a good thing because finding a recipe for the shells was pretty much limited to residents in Texas and a few of the neighboring states where this phenomenon has stretched.

Puffy Taco Shells

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2 Cups Mesa Flour

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 Cups Warm Water

1/2 – 3/4 Cup Additional Mesa Flour

Mix the 2 cups of flour with the salt in a large bowl. Add the water and stir until a soft dough forms. Place dough on lightly mesa-floured surface and knead dough for 5 minutes incorporating 1/2 to 3/4 cup more mesa flour into dough until it is no longer sticky. Roll dough into a log. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

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Slice dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on base of tortilla press, place a ball of dough on press,

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press down with hand to flatten slightly,

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top with another piece of plastic wrap,

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and close press.

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Remove flattened taco shell from plastic wrap and drop into oil preheated to 375.

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When shell puffs and floats to top of oil,

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gently bend the shell in half to make the taco form with a spoon.

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Hold this for 45 seconds. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

I don’t have a tortilla press so I use my tortilla maker but don’t plug it in. It works just as well.

To fill these shells, you can use your favorite taco filling or perhaps make your own taco seasoning like I do and season some browned ground beef or pork with it. Then top the meat with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, onion, green pepper, and some salsa.

Homemade Taco/Burrito Seasoning

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4 Tbsp. Chili Powder

3 Tbsp. Cumin

3 Tbsp. Paprika

2 Tbsp. Onion Flakes

2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp. Salt

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Mix all the ingredients together and seal in airtight container to keep fresh. To use: Add 3 Tbsp. mix to 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of browned/drained meat. For tacos add 2/3 cup water. For burritos add 1 1/4 cups water and 16 oz. refried beans. Simmer for 15 minutes.

I have only made these tacos twice, but already they are a family favorite. I still need to work on cooking the shells so they don’t split when I fold them, but I’m sure with more practice it will all work out. I’m also going to experiment a bit with frying them in a pan with oil rather than deep-frying them. My hope is that they won’t suck up as much oil if done in a pan, but I’m not sure how that is going to affect the puffing.

Trying new recipes is always fun, especially when it means I can now make a meal at home that we used to have to go out for, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Puffy Taco Shells

  • Servings: Makes 12 shells
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Mesa Flour

  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

  • 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water

  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Additional Mesa Flour

Directions

  1. Mix the 2 cups of flour with the salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and stir until a soft dough forms.
  3. Place dough on lightly mesa-floured surface and knead dough for 5 minutes incorporating 1/2 to 3/4 cup more mesa flour into dough until it is no longer sticky.
  4. Roll dough into a log.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Slice dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
  7. Place a piece of plastic wrap on base of tortilla press, place a ball of dough on press, press down with hand to flatten slightly, top with another piece of plastic wrap, and close press.
  8. Remove flattened taco shell from plastic wrap and drop into oil preheated to 375.
  9. When shell puffs and floats to top of oil, gently bend the shell in half to make the taco form with a spoon. Hold this for 45 seconds.
  10. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

Cooking Note

I don’t have a tortilla press so I use my tortilla maker but don’t plug it in. It works just as well.

To fill these shells, you can use your favorite taco filling or perhaps make your own taco seasoning like I do and season some browned ground beef or pork with it. Then top the meat with sour cream, cheese, lettuce, onion, green pepper, and some salsa.

Recipe by: Tilly Frueh, Simply Grateful Cooking at https://simplygratefulcooking.wordpress.com/ – 2016

Taco/Burrito Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. Chili Powder

  • 3 Tbsp. Cumin

  • 3 Tbsp. Paprika

  • 2 Tbsp. Onion Flakes

  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

  • 1 Tbsp. Salt

Directions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and seal in airtight container to keep fresh.

Cooking Note

To use: Add 3 Tbsp. mix to 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of browned/drained meat. For tacos add 2/3 cup water. For burritos add 1 1/4 cups water and 16 oz. refried beans. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Recipe by: Tilly Frueh, Simply Grateful Cooking at https://simplygratefulcooking.wordpress.com/ – 2016

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Puffy Taco Shells & Homemade Taco Seasoning

  1. Suzanne says:

    How cool! You introduced me to a new food that I’d never heard of AND where to get it – El Charro’s … or your place! 😉 Sounds scrumptious! Oh, and you just tossed in there that you make your own taco seasoning. You never cease to amaze me!

    Liked by 1 person

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