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 Greaseless Taco's

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BackRhodes

  • Total Posts: 652
  • Joined: 6/14/2011
  • Location: Mendocino County, CA
Greaseless Taco's Mon, 09/12/11 8:27 PM (permalink)
In the old days, way back in my youth, I cooked tacos that were not fat free, and neither were the tortillas...
 
While I did drain the oils off the taco pan, there was still some there...
 
And (IMHO) the tastiest taco shells are corn tortillas fried someplace between soft and crispy, they still had oils...
 
Oils IS an essential for me, in terms of transfering FLAVOR(s)...
 
And a good HOT oil is perfect for frying tasty tortillas...I fry them so the taco shell is firm but still able to be opened up without cracking...and I did it this way for years and still crave that taste...
 
But then by accident I learned another way about 4 decades ago...dry heating the tortillas...a friend cooks on a wood stove in the deep boonies where I live, and I noticed a shiney bare spot on the iron patina of the flat top cooking surface...it turns out after YEARS of dry heating the tortillas the patina slowly changed to a bright polished iron, and because very few OLD (as in 100 years old) wood cookstoves are completely airtight, small wisps of smoke would seep out and add flavor to the fresh tortillas...what a treat...smokey tacos at the Laskey Ranch 3,000 feet above Calistoga & the Napa Valley (life is so damn good) !!!
 
So I changed the way I cooked the tortillas into taco shells...I have a cast iron skillet that is always kept dry (no oils whatsoever) and reserved exclusively for tortillas, and I heat, flip, fold, and heat each side after folding, and done...
 
So far, so good...
 
As to making the meat itself, it took a bit of experimenting...but the basics are I way over season the meat while cooking (usually 80/20 hamburger, but not always), then add water to the pan to lift the grease / oils, and then dump everything through a strainer or collander...the grease / oils go with the water, and I'm left with flavorful greaseless tacos...
 
The oils have been removed from both the meat and the tortillas...
 
Sorta "heart healthy" ... although I have no idea what the fat numbers actually are, the water that is poured out goes into a saucepan and it's gratifying to look and see what fats are not going into my body when the water & oil/grease cools and separates...
 
And finally (some might think this is strange) I like to pour some bbq sauce on my taco's...
 
Lastly, I'd never insult a perfectly good campesino style taco with sour cream...(that's a gringo thing)...
 
Let me know IF you try this and what variations you might have...
<message edited by BackRhodes on Mon, 09/12/11 8:31 PM>
 
#1
    mar52

    • Total Posts: 7597
    • Joined: 4/17/2005
    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
    Re:Greaseless Taco's Mon, 09/12/11 8:34 PM (permalink)
    I sometimes just zap the store bought corn tortillas in the microwave.  I've also been known to hold them in a tongs over the open flame.
     
    I usually use them to eat any meat that I have left over from a meal at home.
     
    If I'm preparing anything specifically for tacos at home, they're always soft and filled with skirt or flank steak that I've grilled along with pepper and onions and topped with my home made hot sauce de chile arbol. or..
     
    ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with La Victoria green sauce... medium if I can find it.  I've never found hot or it would be my sauce of choice.
     
    Cheese never goes on my tacos.  It takes away from the taste.
     
    #2
      Foodbme

      • Total Posts: 9548
      • Joined: 9/1/2006
      • Location: Gilbert, AZ
      Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 3:30 AM (permalink)
      Backrhodes,
      Here's a tip I learned from the Mexican who cooked for Pancho Villa and his band of Desperados just before Pancho shot him for putting Beans in their Chili! (True Story)
      Line your Colander with layers of Paper Towel to absorb the meat/grease. Then you can lift the towel out of the colander and use it as a funnel to fill the shells. Less of a mess.
      You can get paper towels up there in the Boonies can't you? 
       
      #3
        BackRhodes

        • Total Posts: 652
        • Joined: 6/14/2011
        • Location: Mendocino County, CA
        Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 1:24 PM (permalink)
        I also sometimes use LV green sauce...
         
        Leftover steak is also something I use...and I don't have to use water to "lift" the greases...Tri-Tip leftovers find their way also into chili
         
        #4
          BackRhodes

          • Total Posts: 652
          • Joined: 6/14/2011
          • Location: Mendocino County, CA
          Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 1:31 PM (permalink)
          Hummm...it sounds like the paper towel method is messier...but is a good method if you're camping...
           
          I just place the collander on top of a sauce pan, and pour the meat & water into it...takes 5 seconds...the sauce pan catches the water & oil/grease, and a large spoon filles the taco's...no fuss, no muss, and no soggy paper towels to dispose of... (we don't have garbage service up here, so desposable items are thought out carefully because I have to haul all my garbage down into town 14 miles away)
           
           
          #5
            BackRhodes

            • Total Posts: 652
            • Joined: 6/14/2011
            • Location: Mendocino County, CA
            Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 1:47 PM (permalink)
            I once held a chili contest out in the Alabama Hills west of Lone Pine...I had some left over BBQ Tri-Tip in my freezer, and it was thawed out perfectly when I needed it...
             
            I make my chili Texas style, and I cubed the tri-tip into 1/2" cubes, and also into smaller chinks...
             
            Most of the smaller chunks went into taco's and the larger cubes went into the chili...I won 1st prize for the chili out of 23 entries...it was a blind tasting so I know my (possible) good looks had nothing to do with it...
             

             
            #6
              dimmie2

              • Total Posts: 238
              • Joined: 12/17/2010
              • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
              Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 2:22 PM (permalink)
              that's not any kind of chili I've seen in Texas.   that looks more like meat with sauce.
               
              #7
                mayor al

                • Total Posts: 15062
                • Joined: 8/20/2002
                • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                • Roadfood Insider
                Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 3:59 PM (permalink)
                Greaseless Tacos are an Oxymoron !!   They contribute nothing to the current high demand for methane gas (GREEN FOG !!)
                Marlene, Real Tortilla-Mama's never use tongs on the Tortillas, They can toss them on a stove-burner, flip them at the right time, then pick them off when "Just Right" without nary a blister !!
                 
                #8
                  Michael Hoffman

                  • Total Posts: 17815
                  • Joined: 7/1/2000
                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                  Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 5:17 PM (permalink)
                  WHy would anyone bother to eat a greaseless taco?
                   
                  #9
                    ann peeples

                    • Total Posts: 8317
                    • Joined: 5/21/2006
                    • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                    Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 6:31 PM (permalink)
                    The "grease" in tacos never bothered me.Frankly, in all my life I can never remember describing a taco as greasy.If I make my own, I drain the grease off the meat prior to seasoning, but thats enough for me. I love corn tortillas( Bob loves soft shell) and I warm mine up in the microwave.........
                     
                    #10
                      mayor al

                      • Total Posts: 15062
                      • Joined: 8/20/2002
                      • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
                      • Roadfood Insider
                      Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 6:49 PM (permalink)
                      Annie,
                       You absolutely have to try the Jack-in-the-Box Tacos. Usually 2/$1, deep fat fried little devils. I used to knock down $5 worth for my school-lunch break. I love them more than any Brats I've ever had !!!  Closest one to us is down in Nashville, and we try to visit it whenever we go that direction.
                       
                      #11
                        ann peeples

                        • Total Posts: 8317
                        • Joined: 5/21/2006
                        • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                        Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 7:09 PM (permalink)
                        Oh my goodness, I would definately try those!!!!Will have to take a road trip.........
                         
                        #12
                          chefbuba

                          • Total Posts: 1952
                          • Joined: 6/22/2009
                          • Location: Near You, WA
                          Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 8:05 PM (permalink)
                          BackRhodes


                          I also sometimes use LV green sauce...

                          Leftover steak is also something I use...and I don't have to use water to "lift" the greases...Tri-Tip leftovers find their way also into chili

                          Char broiled skirt steak tacos for dinner here tonight!
                          I'm slumming on salsa though....LV green is all that's in the fridge, forgot to bring home fire roasted salsa from work.
                           
                          #13
                            chefbuba

                            • Total Posts: 1952
                            • Joined: 6/22/2009
                            • Location: Near You, WA
                            Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 8:17 PM (permalink)
                            BackRhodes....have you ever had a "red grease taco" from Jimboy's? Mostly in the Sacramento area and a few in Nevada.
                             
                            #14
                              mar52

                              • Total Posts: 7597
                              • Joined: 4/17/2005
                              • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                              Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 10:34 PM (permalink)
                              LOVE Jack in the Box tacos!
                               
                              I think I have $3 and some change around here somewhere.
                               
                               
                               
                              #15
                                BackRhodes

                                • Total Posts: 652
                                • Joined: 6/14/2011
                                • Location: Mendocino County, CA
                                Re:Greaseless Taco's Tue, 09/13/11 10:45 PM (permalink)
                                Michael Hoffman
                                         WHy would anyone bother to eat a greaseless taco?      

                                 
                                It's the theory that I might live longer...I sometimes use the words grease and oil interchangably...when cool if it's a liquid it's oil...if it solidifies it's grease...and the oils in 80/20 do solidfy when cool...
                                 
                                I have enough body fat, I'm over 60, and would like to live another 20 years...
                                 
                                While I could eat the way I ate when I was a 20 year old, I'm trying to do it smarter...and everybody has their own definition of what is "smarter"
                                 
                                My favorite tacos at my favorite taqueria have carne asada precooked, and all they do is reheat on the flat top with a light oil

                                 
                                #16
                                  BackRhodes

                                  • Total Posts: 652
                                  • Joined: 6/14/2011
                                  • Location: Mendocino County, CA
                                  Re:Greaseless Taco's Wed, 09/14/11 4:27 AM (permalink)
                                  dimmie2
                                           that's not any kind of chili I've seen in Texas.   that looks more like meat with sauce. 
                                        

                                  I suppose folks can interpret "Texas Style Chile" different ways...
                                   
                                  I thought the key was 1)...No beans  2)...no 'maters  3)...it IS a suace...
                                   
                                  In this case it was a little paprika, corn starch, cumin, corriander, chili powder, garlic & onion powder...
                                   
                                  Not bad for being in the middle of a desert while dry camping...it sure was yummy...if I was to do it again I'd dice up the bbq'd Tri-Tip smaller, but it was hot that day and I just wanted to get it going at see how it worked out...it would LOOK different perhaps if I fried up the meat...but as mentioned, It was left over bbq tri-tip...
                                   
                                  Here, have a bowl...and IF it still doesn't look right to ya, close yer eyes...
                                   
                                  <message edited by BackRhodes on Wed, 09/14/11 4:29 AM>
                                   
                                  #17
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