I finally broke down and bought the tortilla press I have been eyeballing at Food Lion for the last 2 years. Just couldn't stomach the $16.99. Man, I suck. But it's here and it's awesome. The beast weighs like 5 pounds.
So, where do we start? Proteins. Fish tacos? Really? This may knock one more nail in my coffin but I don't care. Fish tacos sound disgusting. Perhaps in uber fresh and fancy KaliforniaLand, they use quality but over here, I see fish tacos on a menu and I think frozen Talapia. Maybe carbon monoxide Barbie Dolled Mahi or Tuna with ooooohhhh blackening seasoning. That's fancy! What a healthy treat! So yeah, not a fan. Apologizes to those who are, someone steer me in the right direction or Fedex me a proper fish taco and I will gladly rethink this one.
On to meat. MEAT. Specifically beef. Chuck, sirloin, top round, bottom round, side round, ground round, run around..it's beef. Fatty goodness but maybe not the optimum choice for my taco today. Hard to compete with a beautiful, fresh Pico and you feel like your going to die or rupture like the guy in Alien after just a couple. No cute alien pops out either. Just cholesterol.
Pork? Maybe...Small diced pork loin. Kinda dries out quick. Little bit tougher than we might like in a soft shell. There's always tenderloin. Absorbs marinades well. Nice moisture content. Nice texture. Something to think about. Lastly in porkness there is the butt or picnic cuts and the braise. Cook low and slow. Pop in a Harry Potter book on tape and 380 hours later perfection. Shred it. Great for tacos but unless you planned the day before, you're kinda screwed if you get home at 6:30pm and want to eat by 8pm.
How about chicken? Ground chicken ok but pricey. Chicken breast fajitas....totally overrated. Sizzling plates don't excite me. Now if the waiter came out with a sizzling plate and his head was on fire, that's exciting. Anywhoo, you can buy a whole fryer bird for $6, braise it for 90 minutes, get all the meat, light and dark, and shred it. That's a nice taco.
Then there is turkey. You have listened to all of this so far and you still say that sometimes, maybe most of the time for comforts sake or speed, you just want ground meat filled taco goodness. Turkey is the path to enlightenment. 90/10 is kinda pricey, 85/15 has cheaper and has great flavor, and if you have the means, buy a bird and grind it yourself.
Fresh or hard shells. Pico or salsa. Limes. Cheese. Beans. Rice. Avocado. Hot sauce. Diced Chilies. And what to spice the meat with? Well, we've opened the door.
A friendly suggestion. Lettuce never fits. Chop some romaine. Put it on the side to prop up your beauties during construction then when half of the goodies have fallen out all over your plate, instant salad to be scooped up with fingers stinging with serrano and lime juice. What a night. Eat six more and go comatose till Conan comes back.
Lastly, I talk a lot of smack about this here part of Flordida I've been the last 7 years. But when it's the 3rd week of February and I'm outside at the Green Turtle, in the sunshine, with a pretty girl, a NewCastle, and good live music, all is well in the world. Nighty night.