Crispy Potato, Duck and Chorizo Tacos

Crispy potato and chorizo are a classic taco combination—and I added just one more ingredient- duck breast, that elevated this taco to the next level. The ideal potato and chorizo taco should be deeply browned and flavorful, each crisp cube of potato coated in a thin layer of bright red fat packed with spicy, meaty flavor. The chorizo itself should have a range of textures from tender and moist to crisp. It’s a very straight-forward process to get there, but it does take a bit of time.

To get the perfectly crispy cooked potatoes, par-cook your potatoes in vinegar-spiked water. This technique will help the potatoes in achieving that  extra crispness when subsequently fried in hot fat in a cast iron skillet.

For the best results, use fresh chorizo. In cooking chorizo, just when you think it is past point of being done, cook the meat just a little bit longer, browning it to a deep dark almost black color, but not brunt. The chorizo will be  crisper, better browned,  and much more tastier in the end.

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Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt, to taste
1 Tablespoon white vinegar

One 8-ounce D’Artagnan Rohan Duck Breast in Southwest-Style Marinade (click here for the resource)

6 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
12 to 16 warm soft corn tortillas, for serving
cojita or goat cheese, for serving
1 white onion, minced, for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Homemade or store-bought salsa verde, for serving
2 limes cut into 8 wedges each, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the Potatoes:
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes after coming to a boil. Drain potatoes and let rest over sink until mostly dry.

Heat 4 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add potatoes, shake to distribute around the pan, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until very crisp and golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

For the Duck Breast:
With a knife, score the skin of the duck breast in a cross-hatch pattern, making the squares as small as possible without cutting into the meat. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place in a hot skillet skin side down and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 8 minutes, while continuously draining off the rendered fat.

Flip over and cook for 4 minutes on the meat side. On a heated grill, finish cooking on the meat side for 4 minutes.

Cover the duck breast with foil to keep warm  and allow to rest rest for 10 minutes, then slice it very thinly across the grain. Cover again and set aside.

Drain fat from pan.

For the Chorizo:
Heat remaining oil in a medium non-stick or cast iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until heated through. Continue cooking, stirring and tossing frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated, some fat breaks out, the chorizo starts sizzling, and eventually is quite dry and well-browned, about 15 minutes.

Transfer cooked  duck and chorizo to pan with potatoes. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt.

For the Tortillas:
Warm the tortillas with a little heat to make them soft and pliable.  Place the tortillas in a dry (no oil) stainless steel skillet over medium heat and cook them for about 30 seconds on each side.

Alternatively, you can also do away with the skillet and char the tortillas directly over the gas flames for a few seconds using tongs. These stove-top methods work best when the tortillas are very fresh.

Serve the meat and potato mixture immediately with tortillas, onions, cilantro, salsa, and limes on the side.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Crispy Chicken Tacos

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During my travels this Summer, I had a long lay over at the Charlotte Airport. Given that there are the usual fast food joints in the main terminal, I opted to have lunch at a spot in Terminal D, called “The Rum Bar”, whichDSC09852
was reasonably priced considering that it was at the airport. Although a member of the staff highly recommended the Jerk Chicken Sandwich, I thought about eating such a spicy meal and flying would not agree with me, so I chose the Crispy Chicken Tacos,instead, which consisted of two tacos and was mainly composed of fried chicken tenders with an avocado cream sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and diced tomatoes, served on a flour tortilla. You had the options of having french fries or rice and black beans as a side. It was fresh and hot and tasted pretty good considering airport food. I think that three tacos would have been better as a lunch entree, or maybe because I was hungry and wanted more……

So as soon as I got home, I had to try to make these amazing little tacos, but with a little more low fat and low carb healthy choices.

Yes, it takes is a little time, but the effort is worth it, in developing more layers of flavor. So here is my take on The Rum Bar’s Crispy Chicken Tacos. I oven baked the chicken tenders, rather than frying them, reducing the fat content.

Also note that the avocado cilantro lime cream sauce is so delicious and it is also amazing on Chile Verde, chicken, fish, or seafood tacos. It is also great as a dip for vegetables and tortilla chips.

As for a cooking tip, warming the tortillas is usually the last step when serving a Latin inspired meal for dinner. With a little heat, they get soft and pliable – perfect for wrapping around the filling.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
For the Marinade:
2 pounds chicken breast, cut into tenderloin strips
1 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
A pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin,
1/4 teaspoons chili powder

For the Breading:
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 cups Japanese Panko breadcrumb
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Avocado Lime Crema:
1 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and mashed
6 ounces low fat plain Greek yogurt
Juice and zest of one lime
1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Sour Cream Drizzle:
1⁄4 cup light sour cream
1 -2 teaspoons skim milk

One package 6-inch diameter flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, for garnish
4 Whole Roma tomatoes, diced, for garnish

Rice and Black Beans, for serving

Directions:
For the Chicken Tenders, combine the chicken tenders with all of the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Seal the bag tightly and gently message the bag to ensure chicken tenders are evenly coated with buttermilk marinade. Place in a bowl, just in case leakage that may occur from the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. For best results, marinating over night is ideal.

Preheat oven to 375 °F.

Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade. Lightly season the chicken tenders with salt and black pepper. In a shallow dish, season the flour with salt and black pepper then beat the eggs in another shallow dish with the milk. In a third shallow dish, place the breadcrumbs.

Dredge the chicken tenders in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the floured chicken tenders into the egg and finally, coat the chicken tenders with the breadcrumbs.

Place the breaded chicken tenders onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.Remove from the oven and set aside and keep warm.

To make the avocado lime crema, cut the avocados in half, lengthwise and  remove the stones and peel. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent further oxidation and set aside.

To make the sour cream drizzle, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and the milk. Transfer into a small resealable plastic bag and set aside.

To warm the tortillas making them more pliable, preheat the oven to 350°F.Wrap a stack of five or fewer tortillas in a packet of aluminum foil and put it the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through. You can do multiple packets of five tortillas each all at the same time. Alternatively you can also warm the tortillas in a microwave oven. Put five or fewer tortillas on a microwavable plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave in 30-second bursts until they are warmed through. Repeat in batches of five tortillas until all your tortillas are warm.

To assemble the tacos, fill the tortilla in this order: spread a smear of avocado lime crema on the tortilla, add the chicken tenders and top with shredded cheese and a 1/2 teaspoon of diced tomatoes. Snip off one corner of bag and squeeze the sour cream drizzle onto the tacos, in a zig zag manner.

Serve immediately with rice and black beans.


Salmon Tacos

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Photo Credit: Joseph de Leo, 2011

A spin a on a traditional taco made with the flavors of the heart healthy salmon and a fruit salsa made of apples and cucumbers. This dish could be a nice refreshing meal for lunch or dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pound skinless wild Alaskan salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 corn tortillas
Kosher, salt to taste
1 Hass avocado, mashed

For the Apple-Cucumber Salsa:
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt, to taste

1 cup finely shredded cabbage

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the lime juice. In another small bowl, combine the chipotle powder with the orange zest and sugar. Rub each piece of salmon with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and then with the chipotle–orange zest mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, toss the apple with the cucumber, onion and pepper. Stir in the vinegar and sugar, season with salt and set aside.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and bake for about 8 minutes, until they are softened and heated through.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan. Season the salmon with salt and grill over high heat until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Gently break each piece of salmon in half. Spread the mashed avocado on the warm tortillas and top with the salmon, Apple-Cucumber Salsa and the cabbage. Drizzle each taco with the lime mayonnaise and serve right away.


Fried Cauliflower Tacos

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Tacos may just be the perfect food—handheld, delicious canvases with seemingly infinite flavor possibilities. Here is my healthy take on vegetarian-style fish tacos, using cauliflower and a host of other vegetables. All the crunch, texture and deliciousness and a great option when you want to go the meatless route—or when you just want a really delicious taco.

And to be perfectly honest, this is the best taco I have ever had. You can enjoy this taco for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Happy Eating!

Serves 4 to 8

Ingredients:
For the Spicy Slaw:
1 small head of red cabbage
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Sriracha
2 teaspoons lime juice
A pinch of salt

For the Black-Eyed Pea Salsa:
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 15-ounce can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup orange bell pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the Cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, sliced into florets
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Lawery’s Seasoning Salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Canola oil, for frying

For the Guacamole Dressing:
1 Whole Avocado, sliced, pitted an remove from the shell
1 scallion, thinly sliced, both green and white parts
2 Tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lime juice
A pinch of salt
8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup Monterey Jack
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 small bunch of cilantro
2 to 3 jalapeños, sliced
Lime slices, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 225°F.

For the Slaw:
Finely slice cabbage and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together mayo, Sriracha, lime juice and salt. Add dressing to cabbage and mix thoroughly. Place slaw in the refrigerator to chill.

For the Salsa:
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. set aside to allow the flavors to meld.
For the Guacamole dressing:
In a medium bowl, add the avocado, sour cream, lime juice and salt an stir until completely combined. Place the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to make the tacos.

For the Cauliflower:
Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a Dutch oven or deep saucepan to 350°F. Prepare three separate bowls for the breading station: 1 with flour seasoned with the cumin, seasoning salt,garlic powder and cayenne; the second bowl with eggs and the last bowl with combined the panko and breadcrumbs, Working in batches, dredge cauliflower in the flour, then the eggs and lastly the breadcrumbs, coating completely.

Again, Working in batches, fry cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Place fried cauliflower on a rack in the oven to keep warm.

Heat a pan over medium and warm tortillas.

To serve, fill toasted tortillas with 1 tablespoon of guacamole dressing, a good handful of slaw and three or four cauliflower pieces. Top with Monterey jack cheese, a few crumbles of feta cheese, one sprig of cilantro and a few slices of jalapeño, with the lime wedges on the side.

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