We are a world divided by politics. Everyone has their own opinions about who is right (ourselves) and who is wrong (everyone else that doesn’t agree with me).
Tacos are a lot like a country in the midst of political shift – no one agrees on the one thing that makes it special. We all have our own version of the perfect combination of toppings, meat (or veg), and preferred method of eating them. The beauty of this dish is that there is no wrong way to enjoy it. You go right ahead and put whatever the heck you want on them. I’m just providing you with an outline for awesomeness. Friends, let us look to the street taco as a step in uniting our country(ies). And to answer the question “what should I have for dinner”. Today, I here to announce a platform based on tacos.
What makes these tacos so delicious, are the same things that makes them a perfect weeknight dinner. Most everything is made or chopped ahead of time, and really you’re just left to heat and serve. You’ll look like a freaking dinner boss by adding these to your menu next week. And unlike most meals, tacos can reduce or eliminate whining from the pickier eaters in your household. Why? Because tacos allow you to make your plate how you want it, so anyone with a “selective palette” gets exactly what they want on there. And nothing that makes them gag.
For this particular night, I used shredded pork that I already had in the freezer that I had cooked the previous week. I am a huge fan of cooking an item and dividing it for multiple meals. The other half of the pork was enjoyed in Vietnamese sandwiches (Bahn Mi), turning $18 worth of pork butt in to a very affordable $9 per dinner (or less than $2 per serving) cut of meat.
Weeknight Street Tacos
A delicious and speedy dish that allows for personalizing by every member of the family. Who doesn't love getting their own way at dinner?
- Olive oil
- Corn tortillas (small sized)
- Protein of your choice (meat, beans, tofu)
- Cabbage, optional
- Salsa, optional
- Onions, optional
- Cilantro, optional
- Lime wedges, optional
- Avocado, optional
- Cheese, optional, but not really recommended
- Sour cream, optional, but seen as disgusting to this cook
Decide on your preferred protein. We usually go with shredded pork. To cook the pork, I rub 1 tbsp of Diamond kosher salt in to about 4-6 lbs of pork butt or pork shoulder. Rub the salt on all sides of the meat. If using Morton's kosher salt, reduce to 1/2 tbsp. Put it in the crockpot, put the crockpot on a heavy duty cutting board to protect your counters, and cook on low for 15 hours. Yes, 15 hours. It won't burn the pork. Swearsies. Unless your crockpot is powered by nuclear energy. Who am I to judge? Once finished cooking, allow the meat to cool a bit, and shred with two forks, removing any fatty parts. Cool completely in the fridge, then divide in half. Freeze half of the meat, or plan to use later that week. This method works great for tough cuts of beef too, like roasts. For chicken, I would plan for 6-8 hours of cooking time.
Chop your toppings of choice the night before serving this dinner, and store in the fridge. We are fairly cut and dry with onions and cilantro, but cabbage rules too! Basically, whatever tickles your fancy.
Heat a heavy skillet (like cast iron) over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil* in the skillet in the last few minutes of preheating. Drop 1 corn tortilla in to the skillet, and cook until you see parts of it bubble up. Flip, and cook on the other side. This will likely take 15-30 seconds per side. You want the tortillas to get soft and pliable, so do not cook until crispy. Remove using tongs, and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until all the tortillas you desire are heated up.
*You could also do a small squirt of olive oil between tortillas, using a Misto or something similar if you are worried about using too much oil.
Simply place the tortillas, meat/protein, and toppings in the middle of the kitchen table, and let everyone assemble their own. Sit back and bask in the praise from the happy eaters in your family. Bonus: if you used a cast iron skillet for those tortillas, guess who doesn't have to wash that dish tonight? You. You smart little minx.
Serve with rice, beans, and a salad for a delicious and healthy meal.
Friends, go forth and unite this land with your dinner. This will be a worldwide movement. We’ll feed the people, and have an easy to make dinner. Tacos for all!