09 June 2010

What's for Dinner?


A bit ago I re-discovered the corn tortilla. There's a great family-owned authentic Mexican restaurant in Grand Rapids called Maggie's Kitchen. My usual gig when I go is a veggie burrito with guacamole and onions. One day after a long run, I made my way to Maggie's in search of nourishment, lest I chew my own arm off in my savage hunger. I got my regular burrito to go AND a cheese quesadilla made with a corn tortilla. I ate the quesadilla on my way home and the first bite brought me back to a favorite childhood food memory. Mmm...warm, soft corn tortilla!

We used to have build-your-own-taco nights when I was younger, complete with soft corn tortillas. My mom would assemble all the fixings: beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, salsa on this fantastic table top ceramic lazy susan. Spin it to win it, or um, to make your winning taco. I loved it when we had taco nights!

Hit by a bit of nostalgia for build-your-own-tacos and a wicked taste for corn tortillas, I've begun holding my own build your own taco nights and you can too!

Here's what to do:

Gather your favorite taco ingredients. Here are mine:
Refried beans
Cilantro Lime Rice
Guacamole
Tomatoes, chopped
Onion, chopped
Lettuce, chopped
Corn tortillas (Taco-sized, natch)

Other optional ingredients could include:
Salsa
Sour cream
Cheese
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Meat (if that's your bag, baby!)


Once you have everything chopped, assembled and ready for taco building, heat a larger frying pan with a touch of vegetable oil. Heat a few tortillas at a time, moving them around and turning them so they heat evenly, just until they're soft and warm. You want to be careful not to keep them on the heat too long because they may get a little tough and veer dangerously close to tortilla chips. Hand a couple heated tortillas to your first guest and have them get started building their very own tacos. You can heat the tortillas as you go for each individual taco builder or heat them all, keeping them covered and warm as you heat enough for your taco builders.

He or she who builds the perfect-size taco, without overflowing filling wins a prize! I've found it pretty tough to not want to heap a ton of all my favorite ingredients into each tortilla. Mind the eyes bigger than the tortilla phenomenon.


I'd love to hear if you have your own festive taco building night. What is your favorite meal from childhood? Have you procured the recipe and made it your own in adulthood? Do share!


1 comment:

Avante Guardian Angel said...

My favorite as a kid was my grandma's shepherd's pie. It was pretty simple, just some mashed taters, corn (from a can most likely) and ground beef. (sorry R) Ive done a variance with Jimmy deans breakfast sausage and garlic mashed potatoes, and frozen corn. Mine was tastier but grandma's made with love.