Saturday, October 10, 2015

Baked Taco Shell Problems

So...blog life after the Keeping Up Appearances Project. Obviously we couldn't keep that up forever, but we did love how it started us off! Thank you all for following along our experiment week with us. We love our new direction, but we definitely don't want to forget how this all started...the Pinstrosities! 

And we have one for you today!

Becci and I share a similar love/hate relationship with homemade tacos. They taste SOOOOO yummy, but making the taco shells is a pain. The kitchen ends up splattered with oil, you have to have the nifty shell form, and it just turns into a mess. Why not just buy the hard shells? I'll be honest...tacos usually means we're scrambling to figure out dinner and there isn't time to run to the store. And we're picky with our tortillas...we just prefer the homemade hard shells to the store-bought (and they just seem to hold up so much better rather than turning into taco nachos). So...we usually have soft tacos so we don't have to fry the shells.

Becci, however, found what she thought was going to be the savior of the homemade hard shell taco mess. Bake them. 

Seems simple. Checking out the original website (which you have to register for to see the directions, but it is free), the instructions say to wrap 6 corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to steam them. Coat the tortillas with with cooking spray on both sides. Drape each tortilla over two oven bars, and bake at 375 for about 7-10 minutes. 

That really does sound super easy and fool proof. But wait...


Taco salad it is! 

Becci said that she figures fresher tortillas and a paper towel that wasn't as wet would solve this. I agree. Have you ever nuked a corn tortilla. It's soft and steamed usually in about 15 seconds. I'd cut the steaming time in half and make sure the paper towel is damp, not wet. Fresh corn tortillas also definitely hold up better, as do various brands. I can't even say always get name brand because some of those crumble worse than others. If you have an extra weak brand of tortilla, you definitely want to decrease your steaming time or they really will just fall apart on you.

So...still less of a mess than frying them, but it is more labor intensive than just buying the store-bought shells (but we all know that buying the shells still sometimes means taco salad instead of tacos!). Good thing taco salad is still yummy!!

9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Lately, so do we! Living closer to town (and subsequently the fast food restaurants) at dinner time has become very dangerous!

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    2. That makes me so happy!

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  2. I don't see why you would have to microwave them before putting them in the oven. You would probably want to cook them a bit less if you skip the microwave, but I'd think it would work.

    Another idea, try a variation of the cupcake pan method; instead of draping them over the bottom of each cupcake mold to form bowls, fold the shells in half, and stick them upright in the spaces between the bottom of the cupcake molds.

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  3. You could do like my mom did and I do now - everybody grabs a handful of tortilla chips, puts them on their plate and crunches them until they're in bite size pieces. Then put the fixins on top. But it's not finger food then!

    My husband calls these "Nacho mama's tacos"

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  4. I cook them like this in the oven quite regularly, and never microwave them before...

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  5. If you have the store bought taco shells, start by spreading a little bit of refried beans in the bottom of the shells with a butter knife, then spoon some of the meat on top of the beans, then top them with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Line the prepped tacos in a baking pan and bake at 350* until the cheese is all melty (7-10 minutes usually). Take them out of the oven, and fill the shells up the rest of the way with the "cold" toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, etc.). Baking the shells with the beans, mean, and cheese in them softens them up just a little at the bottom so they don't crumble, but the tops are still nice and crisp. Easy and delicious.

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    1. I even have an ancient post with step-by-step photos from my blog I never write on anymore. :p
      http://christinahomemaker.blogspot.com/2010/06/hard-shell-tacos.html

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    2. That's awesome! We'll have to give that a try sometime.

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