Let Benito's Hat founders Ben Fordham and Felipe Fuentes Cruz help you build your perfect taco with complete recipes so you can up your game on #TacoTuesdays!
You got Tacos de Barbacoa de Res! Barbacoa is one of the most traditional and evocative Mexican meal as it always meant a celebration!
Ingredients (serves 4):
100g red onions
300g large tomatoes
2 kg trimmed beef brisket
4 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chilli/chile
2 teaspoons star anise or fennel seeds
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 limes, cut into wedges
12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and diced
Slice the red onions about 1 cm thick. Slice the tomatoes into wedges.
Cut the beef into big chunks and place in a large lidded saucepan. Pour 2 litres/quarts water into the pan and add the onions, tomatoes, paprika, cumin, chipotle chilli/chili, avocado leaf powder, salt, black pepper and rice vinegar. Mix together with a large spoon.
Place the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally and making sure the pan does not boil dry.
Shred the meat inside the saucepan using tongs or a fork. Just before serving, squeeze one of the limes over the shredded meat.
For the perfect taco, put the meat on a tortilla, add avocado, some salsa and a squeeze of lime juice.
For more recipes like this, buy the new taco cookbook Everyone Loves Tacos by Ben Fordham & Felipe Fuentes Cruz.
You got Tacos de Chorizo con Papas Y Espinaca! The chorizo adds a touch of spice and great colour to the potatoes and spinach.
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
100 g chorizo
1 medium potato
1 red onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
100g baby spinach leaves
a pinch of salt
a pinch of white pepper
a bunch of watercress
100 g radishes, thinly sliced
5–6 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
200 g crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Smoked Chipotle Salsa
Cut the chorizo into slices about 5 mm thick.
Peel the potato and cut it into small strips. Thinly slice the red onion.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the chorizo slices and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the potato strips and fry for 6–8 minutes until cooked. Add the onion, spinach, salt and white pepper and cook for another 1–2 minutes, then put them to one side.
To serve, place the watercress and radish slices in two separate bowls on the table. Place the chorizo mixture in the middle of the warmed tortillas and add the crumbled cheese. Add a dollop of salsa and serve.
You got Tacos de Tinga de Pollo! Chicken Tinga orginates in the state of Puebla. This is a one-pot (albeit used several times) versatile dish of shredded chicken that is quick and easy to make. The tinga sauce should be a rich, earthy red and is given a good punch by the chipotle chillies/chiles.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
500g skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons chipotle paste
0.25 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1.5 teaspoons salt
0.5 romaine lettuce, shredded
1 bunch of radishes, sliced
0.5 red onion, sliced
150ml sour/soured cream
200g feta cheese, crumbled
Place the chicken in a small saucepan with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Skim the froth from the top if necessary.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Remove the chicken from the pan and put to one side to cool. Pour the broth into a separate bowl and reserve for later. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred
into small pieces.
In the now-empty saucepan, place 20 g of the chopped onion, the tomatoes and garlic and 500 ml water, bring to the boil, then simmer for
5 minutes. Drain, discard the water and leave to cool.
Once cooled, place in a blender with the chipotle paste, white pepper, paprika and salt and blend for 1 minute until completely smooth.
Take the saucepan again and heat the oil, then add the remaining chopped onion. Saut. for 1 minute, then add the shredded chicken and the mixture from the blender and cook for another minute. Add 125 ml of the reserved chicken broth and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
For the perfect taco, place a generous spoonful of chicken tinga on top of each warmed tortilla. Top up with the lettuce, radishes, red onion, sour/soured cream and finally the crumbled feta cheese.
You got Tacos de Salmón con Frijoles Negros Picantes! A deliciously different fish taco which combines succulent oven-baked salmon
with satisfying mashed black beans, and pepped up with ginger and garlic.
165g dried black beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1–2 dried chillies cut into small pieces
0.25 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
0.5 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon star anise or fennel seeds
a splash of olive oil
500g fresh salmon fillets, skin removed
0.5 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
2–3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Lime & Red Onion Salsa
fresh jalapeños, seeds and stems removed, thinly sliced
For the beans, put the dried beans in a deep saucepan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low, partially cover and simmer gently for 2 hours. Check every 30 minutes to be sure there is
still enough water and stir so that the beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
After 2 hours, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the dried chilli, onion, garlic, salt and ground avocado leaf powder and fry
gently for 15–20 seconds. Mix together with the cooked black beans Transfer the beans and cooking water to a blender and blend for 1 minute. Tip into a saucepan and bring them back to simmer over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes as this will bring out the rich and aromatic flavour. Put to one side to cool.
For the salmon, Preheat the oven to 220⁰C (425⁰F) or Gas mark 7. Line an ovenproof dish with foil and add a splash of olive oil. Place the salmon on the foil. Add the grated ginger and white pepper and scatter over the chopped garlic, gently pushing it into the fillets. Bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes.
To serve, gently break the salmon into bite-sized pieces, about 2–3 cm square. Layer up the spicy beans over the warm tortillas, then add pieces
of cooked salmon and top it up with the Lime & Red Onion salsa and sliced jalapeños.
You got Tacos de Atún con Chipotle! This chipotle tuna recipe makes a great filling for the crunchy taco shells, and can be put together from items you often already have in your store cupboard (you can tweak the recipe depending on what you have available).
0.5 red (bell) pepper
0.5 yellow (bell) pepper
0.5 bunch of spring onions/scallions
⅓ medium romaine lettuce
240g can of tuna, drained
75g sweetcorn/corn, drained
1 tablespoon chipotle paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander/cilantro
700ml vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
Deseed and cut the red and yellow (bell) peppers into small chunks and dice the tomato. Thinly slice the spring onions/scallions and the romaine lettuce.
Place the vegetables in a bowl with the tuna, sweetcorn/corn, chipotle paste, coriander/cilantro and mayonnaise, and mix well.
Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan/skillet over a medium-high heat. Carefully fold a tortilla in half, using tongs to keep it folded. Place it in the oil for a few seconds, starting with the bottom part (the fold) and then lay it on one side and then the other, frying until golden brown all over.
Remove the tortilla from the oil and drain on paper towels, then repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Place the taco shells on a serving plate. Fill with the tuna mix and serve.
You got Tacos de Camerones! This is really pretty simple and there are no overpowering flavours due to the way the prawns/shrimp are cooked, but it is the combination with onion, coriander/cilantro and avocado salsa that makes this special. If you like a bit more heat, it is easy to adjust the spiciness by adding a little more crushed chilli/chile.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
350g medium raw shell-on prawns/shrimp
1 yellow (bell) pepper
1 red (bell) pepper
50g tablespoons butter
1 small onion, halved and then thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed dried chillies/chiles
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
50g finely chopped white onion
35g finely chopped coriander/cilantro
12–16 flour or corn tortillas
Peel the tails off the prawns/shrimp, leaving the rest of them whole.
Cut the (bell) peppers in half and discard the stems, seeds and white ribs. Cut the flesh into 2 x 3-cm pieces.
To make the onion-coriander/cilantro mix for serving, place the chopped onion and herbs in a serving bowl and mix together. Tip the Avocado Salsa into another serving bowl.
Start to warm the tortillas now as you want to be serving this dish with the prawns/shrimp piping hot.
Whilst heating the tortillas, put the butter in a saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the sliced onion, garlic, (bell) peppers, dried chillies/chiles and salt and cook for 4–5 minutes until soft.
Add the prawns/shrimp to the pan and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the prawns/shrimp are pink and cooked through.
To serve, Stir in the parsley and serve immediately with the warmed tortillas, the bowl of onion-coriander/cilantro mix and the Avocado Salsa, and squeeze the lime juice over.
You got Tacos de Aguacate Capeado! The crispy-on-the-outside/creamy-soft-in-the-centre avocado wedges combine beautifully with the spicy Chipotle Slaw, fresh Pico de Gallo, sharp squeeze of lime juice and the tart crunch of fresh radishes. A mouthwatering dish if ever there was one.
Ingredients (serves 6):
135g self-raising flour/all-purpose flour mixed with
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon star anise or fennel seeds
2.5 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons paprika
0.5 teaspoon white pepper
1 bottle (330 ml) Sol beer (or similar crisp lager)
vegetable oil, for frying
6 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Pico de Gallo
2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges
thinly sliced radishes
Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and peel off the skin. Slice each half lengthwise into 3–4 slices, depending on the size of your avocados.
Put the fl our into a large bowl. Add the avocado powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, pepper and salt and mix together well. Make a well in the centre, add the beer and mix gently until you have a smooth batter.
Fill a small saucepan with vegetable oil to a depth of about 7–8 cm/2.–3. inches and place over a medium-high heat, or heat a deep fat fryer to
180⁰C/350⁰F. Coat the avocado slices in the batter, then carefully lower them into the hot oil and deep-fry for 30 seconds on each side until puff y and crisp, taking care not to burn them. Fry a few slices at a time.
Remove the slices from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
To serve, layer up the warmed tortillas with the avocado fritters, Chipotle Slaw, Pico de Gallo and a squeeze of lime juice, and garnish with thinly sliced radishes. Serve with additional slaw and the remaining lime wedges.
You got Tacos de Hongos Silvestres Picantes! You can be as adventurous as you like with this delicious, spicy mix of sautéed wild mushrooms, butter, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, pepper and a touch of heat.
125g fresh, mixed wild or shiitake mushrooms
125g button mushrooms
0.5 small red (bell) pepper
0.5 small yellow (bell) pepper
1 large clove of garlic, very finely chopped
15g fresh ginger, very finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley (leaves only)
1.5 teaspoons crushed dried chillies/chiles
1 teaspoon salt
30g stick butter
8–10 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
mixed spring leaves, such as watercress, spinach and rocket/arugula
oil and vinegar salad dressing
Wash the mushrooms and slice them 1 cm thick. Cut the red and yellow (bell) pepper halves and discard the stems, seeds and white ribs. Cut into pieces about 3 cm square. Slice the onion into strips about 1 cm thick.
Place the prepared vegetables in a bowl, add the garlic, ginger, parsley, dried chillies/chiles and salt and stir to mix well.
Put a saucepan over a high heat and melt the butter for about 1 minute. Then add the mushroom mixture, stir together and saut. for 6–8 minutes.
To serve, place a warm tortilla on a plate, add a layer of mixed leaves, followed by a small spoonful of Pico de Gallo and top with a generous spoonful of the wild mushrooms. Serve with additional mixed leaves and
a simple oil and vinegar dressing, if you wish.
You got Tacos de Garbanzo Y Coliflor! The combination of cauliflower and chickpeas/garbanzo beans makes a healthy taco. These are easy to make, full of protein, taste great and the presentation of them looks pretty special too!
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
0.5 teaspoon ground cumin
0.5 teaspoon sea salt
0.5 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small cauliflower
250g canned chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
12–16 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
6 radishes, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C (400⁰F) Gas 6.
Place the red onion and garlic in a medium bowl with the paprika, ground cumin, sea salt, oregano, oil and 2 tablespoons of water and mix well.
Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and cut it into small florets.
Peel the carrot and remove the ends. Cut the carrot in half lengthwise, then cut each half in two again. Slice into pieces that resemble small cubes.
Put the chickpeas/garbanzo beans, cauliflower and carrot into the mixing bowl and stir the mixture to make sure the vegetables are covered with the seasoning.
Spread out the mixture on the greased baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
To serve, mix the chopped onion and coriander/cilantro together in a bowl. Place a generous spoonful of the cauliflower mixture on each warmed tortilla and serve with the onion-coriander/cilantro mix, the Avocado Salsa and sliced radishes.
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