Monday, April 15, 2013

Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos

This week’s theme was fast food, so I decided to try and mimic Taco Bell’s Dorito Taco shells. This was my first time both making corn tortillas from scratch and deep frying tortillas. They’re a lot more prone to coming apart during the cooking process, and a lot pickier about pan temperature than flour tortillas – I lost 2 of my 8 during the initial cooking because of this. I was winging the whole frying process, and initially had the oil up to 375, which overcooked the tortillas way too easily. After adjusting the heat, I finally felt like I was getting the hang of it, and then I was all out of tortillas.

Dorito seasoning recipe slightly modified from:

Dorito Seasoning:
½ packet hidden valley ranch mix (0.5 ounces)
¼ packet cheese powder from white cheddar mac n cheese
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
Pinch cayenne

Dorito Tortilla Shells (makes 8 shells):
1 cup loose packed masa harina (~4 oz)
2/3 cup (5 oz.) water
Dorito Seasoning

Mix the masa with the Dorito seasoning, then add in the water. Mix with your hands for two minutes, until a smooth dough forms. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time if the dough is too dry.

Divide dough into 8 pieces, and cover with plastic wrap. Place each piece, one at a time, between two pieces of plastic wrap and flatten into a 5” circle using a tortilla press or heavy object (I used a dutch oven).

Set a skillet over medium-high heat (do not add oil). Cook the tortillas for about 40 seconds per side. Place on a plate covered with a towel to keep warm and pliable as you cook the remaining tortillas.

Once the tortillas are all cooked, add 1” of oil to a cast iron skillet, and heat it to 350-360°F. Place the tortillas in the oil one at a time, using tongs to hold the top and bending into a ‘U’ shape. Use a spatula to keep the bottom portion submerged in oil. After 10-15 seconds flip the shell and repeat on the other side, using the tongs and spatula to maintain the shape. Remove to a sheet pan lined with paper towels.

Taco Meat:
1 lb. ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper
1 cup water

Brown the meat in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces and seasoning with salt. Remove from skillet and discard excess grease.  Return meat to skillet and add water and remaining seasonings. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed/evaporated.

To Finish:
Flour tortillas
Cheddar and Monterrey Jack Cheese
Tomatoes, diced
Hot sauce (I used El Yucateco)

Place the tortillas on a prepared baking sheet and sprinkle cheese on top. Cook at 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese has melted. Nestle one Dorito taco shell into each flour tortilla, and fill with taco meat, additional cheese, lettuce, and tomato.  Top with hot sauce.


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