Chubbs Tacos 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Oct 24, 2017

Guerrilla Tacos chef Wesley Avila is correct in saying that this street food is not quite like anything you can get anywhere else: Based on how his dad (whom he nicknamed "Chubbs") used to fry fluffy eggs in lard for tacos when Avila was a kid.

We tested the recipe with lard and also with the combination of clarified butter and vegetable shortening that is listed in the ingredients. We also garnished the tacos with fried chicken skins because we had the skins on hand; you can buy fried pork cracklings/skins at Latino markets.

Where to Buy: Ghee, a type of clarified butter, is available in the international aisle of some large supermarkets.


Servings:
4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee (see NOTES)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 medium red or white onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Handful of pork cracklings, chicharrones or fried chicken skins (see headnote and NOTES)
  • 1 cup homemade or canned pinto beans, broth or can liquid reserved (see NOTES)
  • Four 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • Arbol Salsa (see related recipe) or your favorite green salsa, for serving
  • 6 ounces queso fresco, sliced or crumbled, for serving
  • Flesh of 1/2 ripe avocado, sliced, for serving
  • 4 dried arbol chile peppers, for serving
  • Chopped scallions, for serving

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Directions

Combine the clarified butter and vegetable shortening in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Line a plate with paper towels.

Crack the eggs into a bowl, then add the onion and kosher salt, whisking until well incorporated.

Once the butter-shortening mixture is shimmering (and measures about 340 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), pour one-quarter of the egg mixture into the skillet. Cook, undisturbed, for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes; the egg's edges will crisp and crinkle, and the underside will brown like a pancake. Carefully flip the egg over, top with the cracklings, then use a spoon to baste the cracklings with some of the fat in the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer the egg to the lined plate. Repeat with the egg mixture to make 3 more puffy fried eggs.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the butter/shortening from the pan (you may not need to discard any), then add the beans. Use the back of a wooden spoon to lightly mash about half the beans, and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid (or water, if needed) until the beans are thinned to the consistency of hummus.

Divide the warm tortillas among individual plates. Spread 2 tablespoons of the beans onto each one, then top each portion with a puffy fried egg, a spoonful or two of the salsa, some cheese, avocado slices, a dried chile de arbol and scallions. Serve right away, with more salsa on the side.

NOTES: To cook your own pinto beans, rinse 1 cup dried pinto beans and put in a medium pot; cover with water by 2 inches, then bring to a boil over medium heat. Add 1 small yellow quartered onion, 1 bay leaf and 6 whole cloves of garlic, then lower the heat so the beans cook at a low boil. Cook, partially covered, for about 2 hours, until soft but not falling apart; you may need to add more water to the pot.

(The cooking time will be reduced if you use pre-soaked beans.) Stir in 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Let the beans cool in their broth, then discard the onion, bay leaf and garlic cloves. The yield is about 2 1/2 cups (with broth). Store any leftover beans in their broth for up to 1 week.

To clarify butter, melt unsalted butter over low heat, without stirring. Let it sit for several minutes, then skim off the foam. Leave the milky residue at the bottom and use only the clear (clarified) butter on top.

To make fried chicken skins, heat 1 inch of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cut chicken skin into 2-inch pieces, stretching them as flat as you can. Carefully place one in the oil; if the oil bubbles around them, add half the remaining pieces of skin and fry for about 8 minutes, turning them until they are crisp and evenly golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season lightly with salt.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes From the Streets of L.A.," by Wesley Avila with Richard Parks III (Ten Speed Press, 2017).

Tested by Kara Elder.

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