Friday, November 2, 2012

Swedish Taco Night Fridays: Taquitos (soft rolled Tacos) & Guacamole



These are Taquitos or Soft Rolled Tacos with Guacamole & Cheddar Cheese
photo by Randy Mayor

Flour Tortillas on the left
 Corn Tortillas on the right
Those are a photo of what are called Taquitos or Soft Rolled Tacos and they are always made from Corn Tortillas and beef, chicken or pork meat, but always with Corn Tortillas. Sadly we don't have these in Sweden, with the exception of a Tortilla Factory in Spain where a small private mobile business called  La Taqueria - Flavors of Mexico AB , has to import them for their menu here in Göteborg. They use to set up their mobile trailer at Kungstorget, but have since moved elsewhere since the Saluhallen in Göteborg did a remodel. There was a major remodeling of Saluhallen and I have not seen any of the previous outside food vendors out there. The business was run by a girl from Mexico and her Scandinavian boyfriend, but I think they have since sold it to some Swedish interests based on the website and
Facebook La Taqueria Groups Page.

There is a serious lack of anything to do with Taquitos here in Sweden and yet the product would go over with an explosion in a Business $€N$€. Without real Corn Tortillas it's almost impossible to do your own. The other Mexican brand name here is Old El Paso and on their website page they attempt to show people how to create Taquitos using the more common flour tortilla as represented in the photo above left. Seriously, this barely qualifies as a Taquito as any experienced Mexican or Gringo gourmet would tell you. If anything, it's a glorified Asian Spring Roll with a Mexican twist. Flour Tortillas just don't deep fry well or offer the same rustic corn flavour needed for a true Taquito. They no doubt are okay, but not the sort of slender Guacamole Dipping hard crispy corn roll you need for true Taquitos.

Look closely! Shredded Beef is the most common Taquito sold in the United States either frozen in Grocery Stores or Mexican Restaurants and/or the Take-Aways. Of course one could use ground beef (hamburger) but it's not the same. Even if you had to make them from scratch, you would not need that much meat to fill the inside of the Taquito. It's also the GuacoCheese and Salsa you pour over the top that adds gusto!!!

One way to make home made Taquitos
Let's say one day either Santa Maria, Old El Paso or ICA Grocery Stores get their act together and find a source for Corn Tortillas if not already manufactured frozen Soft Rolled Tacos (Taquitos), here is what you do to make them on your own. Assuming you can purchase Corn Tortillas, you will need about 25 of them. You'll need to find some shredded beef, usually in stores and you can find imported Argentina Shredded Beef in a can. Most Mexican Restaurants in the USA use this source for their restaurants. It's already cooked but you want to heat it a bit and add some Santa Maria Original Taco spice or that from Old El Paso (your choice or you may not choose to use spice at all). 
Ingredients:
25 Corn Torillas ( basic wheat flour won't work, neither will the flour/mais blend).
2 Cups, 1 pint or 16 ounces = 475 ML  of Shredded Beef
Canola Oil (Rapseed for Euros) for frying
Directions:
1) Find a shallow square dish that fits into your freezer (Very Important)
2) Put a small tablespoon full of the shredded beef on a fresh warm flexible Corn Tortilla. Now shape the shredded beef into a long thin line about 1 cm thick and two inches long. 
3) Now roll this flexible tortilla tightly around this line of shredded beef and place it firmly with the seam side down into the square dish. 
4) Repeat this over and over till all the tortillas and meat are gone and tightly packed into this dish so that none of the Taquitos will be opened or unwrapped. (See Photo below under references)
5) Now place in freezer uncovered for about an hour or so. The freezing process doesn't allow them to unwrap when frying. This is how most commercial Taquitos come to restaurants or Grocery Stores in the USA.
6) Now take a large frying pan and fill it with about two inches of Canola Oil (Rapseed Oil) and put over high heat on stove.
7) When oil is hot, place the frozen Taquitos one at a time in the pan with the seam side down. Hold each one individual down for 20 seconds so that the seam cooks and sets it's permanent Taquito shape and won't open up. Repeat this until all Taquitos are cooked. 
8) Allow Taquitos to drain excess oil on a few layers of papertowels on a large plate.
9) Most people smother the Taquitos with guacamole, cheese and salsa, or you can eat them plain, but I wouldn't. Messy is better. Actually they are the perfect finger food.
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Guacamole Ingredients
1) Four to Six Avocados
2) One packet of Santa Maria guacamole Mix (or Old El Paso) or make your own from scratch. The pre-mixed spice is easy, fast and already great tasting. 
3) One Cup of Sour Cream or Crème fraîche 
4) Salsa( Fresh Salsa Recipe )

Great Avocados can at times be a challenge here in Sweden, but they are very popular and are continually available. You can buy the more expensive twin pack Haas Avocados (Alligator skin), in group bundles on sale or individually, depending on what the ICA Store has available.  Split in half with knife and remove seed. Scoop the avocado meat out and place into a large bowl and mash it with a large fork as fine as possible. Next take a hand blender if you've got one and blend until creamy. Next put one packet of the Guacamole Spice mix and blend it in. You can add a little bit of Salsa to it, but for Taquitos you really want a smooth creamy texture to your Guaco-Dipping Mix. You can either put into small individual bowls for each person to dip, or pour over top of Taquitos on a plate as they do at the restaurants or take-aways. Apply cheese and Salsa as necessary- which should look something like this below.


photo by Alicia Ross at Dallas News
There is no reason someone at Santa Maria , Old El Paso or ICA Grocery Stores couldn't invest in a Tortilla Machine and sacks of Mais or Masa Corn flour to create their own version of Corn Tortillas, but you will all have to pester them like crazy about this. Mexican Foods are popular enough now for just such an investment or at least find a supplier to resell them to you, even if you have to convince a local Bakery like Pågens to take on the task. It may even be beneficial to find a hand tortilla maker and supplier of good Masa corn flour to make your own Corn Tortillas at home. Below is what a hand tortilla maker looks like. Even these companies could at least sell Tortilla Makers and Masa flour for their customers to make their own. We'll see what happens!

Very simple and Easy to Use. Doesn't Take a Genius to Use One of These.
To Make Lots of These !!!

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TAQUITO - REFERENCES:
For information on the history of Taquitos, variety and just general recipes, view this site

http://www.taquitos.net/snacks.php?page_code=54
To view my flavourite Mexican Take Away when I'm back in San Diego area, view this site
http://www.sombreromex.com/
Göteborg Mobile Mexican Food
http://www.lataqueria.se/index.html
Frozen Taquitos in square dish

3 comments:

  1. Oh, you are making my mouth water! We go to a little carneceria (did I spell it right?) here in Palm Desert for guacamole and salsa and homemade tortillas every now and then. Don't buy the meat there, however...it doesn't look good, but everything else is yummy!

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    1. I love Taquitos or soft rolled tacos. They don't have corn tortillas over here and it drives me crazy. Corn always was my flavourite. Do they have a Cardenas Grocery Store there in Coachella Valley ? It's my favourite place to shop.

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    2. Wow, i just found out you have three of them there. Cathedral City, Indio and Coachella

      Cardenas Mexican Markets


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