The puffy taco is similar to having a regular taco except you can make the shells yourself to your liking. The purpose of the puffy taco is to have a taco shell that is like a regular type of shell, but it is fried in oil so that the edges have a puffy look to them. You can fill the Puffy Taco with all your favorite ingredients. Here is the recipe on how to make your tacos puffy.
- 2 lbs boneless beef chuck, chopped finely
- 3 Tbs vegetable oil
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, stemmed, and then minced
- 1 small onion, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt & ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- 1 waxy potato, peeled, diced and parboiled
- 2 cups masa harina flour
- 1 ripe tomato, cored, stemmed, and finely diced
- 1 1/4 cups of warm water
- 1/4 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
To make the tortillas:
- Put the Masa Harina into a medium sized bowl. Add the 1 1/4 cups of warm water and stir the mixture until a soft dough forms. Put some flour on a flat surface and add the dough to the flat surface. Then knead the dough until it is smooth.
- Once the dough is smooth, divide it into 8 dough balls. Take plastic wrap and drape it over a tortilla press to prevent the dough from sticking. Put one dough ball at a time in the press, then cover again with plastic wrap. Close the tortilla press and press until the dough is flattened into a 4 1/2" disk. (If you do not have a tortilla press you can use the same procedure with a rolling pin.) Set the tortilla disks aside as is.
To make the filling:
- Heat the 3 Tbs of vegetable oil in large skillet over high heat. Add the chopped beef chuck and cook, breaking up the meat as it is cooking for approximately 6-8 minutes. Add the bell peppers, onions, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and ground pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft—approximately 2-4 minutes. Add the diced potatoes, tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cups of water. As this is cooking make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occationally until the sauce has dissolved.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour some vegetable oil into a wide, medium sized pot covering approximately 3" of the bottom and heat this over medium heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 350 degrees on a candy thermometer. To start cooking the taco shells, peel away the plastic wrap off of 1 tortilla, and add the tortilla to the hot oil. Make sure to keep the tortilla submerged in the oil, and using metal thongs fold half of the tortilla over so the edges are approximately 2" apart from one another. Fry the tortilla until it holds its shape, which is about 30 seconds. Gently stir the taco until it becomes blistered along the edges and is crisp and golden—approximately 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Move the taco shells to a paper towel to drain off the excess oil and repeat the process for the remaining tacos.
- To serve, stuff each tortilla with the beef chuck mixture, lettuce, and tomatoes.