These tacos can be fried in oil in the traditional fashion or given a low-fat makeover: toasted in an oil-free skillet.
Use your favorite Mexican chorizo. Good chorizo can be found at the Panamerican Grocery in Columbia Heights (202-545-0290). Or look for Logan's brand fresh, uncooked chorizo in the meat department at some grocery stores or in Latino markets. If you prefer a less spicy sausage, substitute Salvadoran chorizo. For tortillas, Patricia Jinich prefers Casa Blanca and Mission brands; if you can't find those, try to find another non-refrigerated brand.
Serve with a green tomatillo salsa.
Servings: 10 - 12 tacos
- 1 pound red bliss potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces fresh, uncooked Mexican chorizo sausage (casings removed), coarsely chopped (see headnote)
- 8 scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
- 10 to 12 six-inch corn tortillas (see headnote)
- Safflower oil, for frying
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the potato pieces; once the water returns to a boil, cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain.
Place the chorizo in a large skillet over medium-high heat. As it cooks, use a wooden spoon or spatula to crumble it into smaller pieces. Once it begins to brown and crisp, in 5 to 6 minutes, add the scallions and stir to combine; cook for about 1 minute or until the scallions begin to soften.
Add the cooked potatoes and salt, mashing them into the chorizo mixture with a potato masher or a similar tool, for about 1 minute until well combined. Remove from the heat. Taste, and add salt as needed.
Heat a dry medium skillet over medium heat. Warm the tortillas in the skillet one at time for 15 to 30 seconds on each side, to soften them for rolling.
Place a few tablespoons of the potato filling on each tortilla, then roll the tortillas into tube shapes. (You may insert a wooden toothpick through the seams of the tacos to help them retain their shape as they cook.) Place the completed tacos on a platter or tray with the seam sides facing down as you work. When they have all been rolled, finish the tacos by either frying or toasting them.
To fry the tacos: Pour the oil into a large skillet to a depth of about 1 inch; heat over medium-high heat. Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels.
Once the oil is hot, after about 4 to 6 minutes, fry the tacos in batches, placing them in the skillet seam sides up, without crowding them. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom and sides have crisped and turned golden. Use tongs to carefully turn over the tacos; cook for 1 minute or until evenly browned, then transfer them to the paper-towel-lined plate. Continue until all of the tacos have been fried.
To toast the tacos: Heat a large, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Working in batches, place the tacos in the skillet with the seam sides down. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the tacos are browned and crisped, then use tongs to turn them over and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until evenly browned.
Remove all toothpicks; serve warm.
From Patricia Jinich, cooking teacher and chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington.
Tested by Megan Greenwell.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.